The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has decided to crack down on Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs. These are deemed unregulated and are threatened with closure soon.
UK attacks Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs
This is information that comes directly from an official press release issued by the FCA, the British financial watchdog. According to him, all companies providing services in the field of cryptocurrencies – including Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs – must be registered and check anti-money laundering rules.
Thus, all Bitcoin ATMs in the territory of the United Kingdom would currently be in an illegal situation and should therefore be closed. FCA Executive Director Mark Steward said:
“Unregistered crypto ATMs operating in the UK are doing this illegally. »
He also added that the British regulator is just beginning its fight against crypto ATMs in the country. It also specifies that cryptocurrency investment products are “currently unregulated and high risk”warning investors to be ready to lose all their money.
FCA and West Yorkshire Police Cybersecurity Team have even already taken action against several sites in the city of Leeds and its surroundings, suspected of hosting unregulated and therefore prohibited cryptocurrency ATMs.
A vending machine hunt which shouldn’t last very long, so few are their numbers in the UK. According to the Coin ATM Radar site, there are only 28 in the UKmainly located around London, Manchester and Nottingham.
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This initiative is part of the follow-up many warnings from the FCA towards the companies producing and installing these Bitcoin ATMs. These had already been warned in March 2022 by the regulator, ordering them to close or to comply with the regulatory rules or face penalties.
At the time of writing these lines, around 38,000 Bitcoin ATMs are listed across the globe. These are distributed within 79 countries and operated by more than 600 companies.
However, the monopoly is once again on the side of the United States, which hosts almost all of these ATMs, with approximately 33,759 machines. As for France, it is only in 49th position in this ranking with only 12 distributors still in operation.
Like France, the United Kingdom has already drastically reduced the number of distributors on its territory, going from around 200 machines in 2021 to just 28 today.
👉 To go further: Dossier – Will France miss the turn of cryptocurrencies and blockchain?
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Source: FCA press release, Coin ATM Radar
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