The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched inspections across the country to investigate sites suspected of hosting illegally operated cryptocurrency ATMs.
Collaborating with local authorities in cities like Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield, the FCA recently conducted raids on facilities believed to be running unregistered crypto ATMs.
The FCA issued warnings or cease-and-desist orders to suspected operators of crypto ATMs in East London and Leeds prior to the current enforcement action.
Therese Chambers, the FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, emphasized their commitment to stopping illegal activities, stating, “The action we’ve taken over the past few months and wider work shows that we will act to stop illegal activity.”
The combined measures have disrupted unregistered cryptocurrency companies and increased public awareness of illegally run crypto ATMs.
The FCA invoked its powers under the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations of 2017 to conduct these inspections. The financial watchdog plans to review the evidence collected and consider further action where necessary.
According to statistics from CoinATMRadar, there are already around 15 crypto ATMs in the UK run by businesses including Big Sea Coins, BD ATMs, Cryptobitecoin, and Computer House. It remains uncertain whether any of these ATMs are registered under the FCA’s regulatory framework.