• 23 July, 2024
News

UK FCA Inspects Illegal Crypto ATMs in East London

The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reportedly begun inspecting illegal cryptocurrency ATMs in East London. The move by the FCA to exercise its enforcement powers is initiated as a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police.

Mark Steward, Executive Director (Enforcement & Market Oversight), FCA, said,

Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal and, as today shows, we will take action to stop this. This operation, alongside last month’s action in Leeds, sends a clear message that we will continue to identify and disrupt unregistered crypto businesses in the UK. Crypto products are not currently regulated and they are high risk. You should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.

With cryptocurrency ATMs, people can buy cryptocurrencies or convert fiat money to digital assets.

At present, no cryptocurrency ATM operators in the UK are registered with the FCA (thereby violating FCA regulations). The FCA, along with the National Economic Crime Centre, is working “to plan and coordinate action with law enforcement partners against operators of illegal crypto ATMs.”

The East London cryptocurrency ATM crackdown by the FCA comes after its earlier actions in Leeds. In Leeds, with the West Yorkshire Police, the FCA had recently inspected various illegally operating ATM sites having unregistered crypto ATMs. The FCA shall reportedly go ahead with reviewing the collected evidence from its inspecting actions and decide future action, if required. The FCA reportedly found in 2021 that close to 4.4% of British adults were involved with holding cryptocurrency assets,

The FCA, at regular intervals, tends to warn consumers about the risks of cryptocurrency The FCA reminds consumers that cryptocurrency assets. are unregulated, posing great risk. Cryptocurrency exchanges (including ATM operators) in the UK should duly register with the FCA to comply with the UK Money Laundering Regulations.

The FCA initiated these investigations pursuant to the powers it has got from the Money Laundering Regulations, 2017. The FCA had reportedly warned cryptocurrency ATM operators in the UK in advance to stop operating ATM machines illegally or receive enforcement action.

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