The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s central financial regulator, has issued a verdict regarding the presence of cryptocurrency ATMs in the country. Many in the industry were shocked to learn that the regulator issued a strong “shut down, or face further actions” order to ATM operators, outlining their intention to contact the companies to confirm the notice.
The main reasons for enforcement were cited by the watchdog as a lack of a regulatory structure, high-risk potential of fluctuating assets and the importance of upholding anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations.
Since August 2020, 33 crypto companies have been approved by the FCA for registration under the MLR framework. The most notable being Gemini Europe Ltd., Kraken’s holding company Payward Ltd., Galaxy Digital UK Limited. And, just recently, eToro UK Ltd.
The FCA also granted temporary registration status to 22 businesses until March 31, 2022. At that time, a decision on their validity will be made. This includes the companies Blockchain Access UK Limited (blockchain.com), Copper Technologies UK Limited, Revolut Ltd, Wirex Ltd, and others.
Coin ATM Radar has analyzed data and found that there are 81 Bitcoin ATMs in the UK operated by eight companies. FCA stated that none of the 33 companies approved have filed the required documents or obtained licensing status to operate a Bitcoin ATM service within the jurisdiction. Therefore, all other entities must be considered illegal.
The precedent for this ruling was established when Gidiplus Limited, a Bitcoin-centric crypto asset automated teller machine (CATM), was given a decision notice from the FCA. The company was refused as a crypto assets exchange provider. The official 16-page report states that Gidiplus failed to meet the MLR law’s “conditions for registration.”