UK FCA Takes Action: 26 Crypto ATMs Closed Amidst Coordinated Investigation

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial watchdog for the United Kingdom, "disrupted" 26 out of the 34 cryptocurrency ATMs it visited and examined since the year 2023 began.


All cryptocurrency ATM operators in the U.K. received an ultimatum from the FCA on February 14: either follow regulations or cease operating illegally. Following the alert, the FCA and other law enforcement organizations used their authority granted by the anti-money laundering legislation to look into 36 crypto ATM sites.


Steve Smart, joint executive director of enforcement and market monitoring at the FCA, spoke out against the usage of all cryptocurrency ATMs.


“If you use a crypto ATM in the U.K., you are using a machine that is operating illegally and you may be handing your money over to criminals.”

Government or ATM operator "will not provide protection" for the machines. 18 of the lots were examined in May and June, shortly after the FCA made the inspection campaign public knowledge.


All cryptocurrency exchanges and ATMs need to register with the FCA and adhere to UK anti-money laundering laws. On July 8, the Clive Police Department published a report describing how a cryptocurrency scammer called up an unwitting victim while posing as a member of the legal system, took $6,000, and threatened to serve an arrest order.

Scammers trick unwary people into transferring money using cryptocurrency ATMs by using intimidation methods and posing as law enforcement officers. It is crucial to remember that law enforcement organizations never call people and demand payment in cash or cryptocurrency.


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