UK’s FCA Strengthens Control Of Crypto ATMs To Avoid Money Laundering Risks
- The FCA has launched yet another crackdown on cryptocurrency ATMs in the nation.
- It carried out raids in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield this week.
- Local organized crime forces in the region assisted in the raids as part of a combined effort to combat illicit usage.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom is clamping down on the usage of cryptocurrency ATMs, as indicated by raids in three locations.
The FCA said that it had assessed premises in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield in collaboration with the local police. The devices used to convert fiat cash into cryptocurrency are considered a money laundering risk, and none are registered with the FCA as needed by law, the agency said in a statement on Friday.
Some nations, though, are adopting a very different strategy. Crypto ATMs are becoming more prevalent in the United States and Australia, despite efforts by some to connect them to money laundering and prohibit their usage.
In the lack of any FCA permission, the operation of crypto ATMs is prohibited in the United Kingdom. Their usage is associated with organized crime, according to officials. Local organized crime forces in the region assisted in the searches this week as part of a coordinated operation targeting unlawful usage.
The FCA said that it was analyzing the information gathered during its examination but did not clarify what if any, additional action would be taken. The searches follow enforcement actions launched in March in Leeds and East London.
Economic Crime Unit Manager of the South West Regional Organized Crime Unit (SWROCU), Peter Highway, stated:
“Criminals will use crypto ATMs to launder illegally obtained cash, so we were pleased to assist our colleagues at the FCA in targeting businesses in the region displaying these machines without authorization.”
The regulators in the United Kingdom do not adopt a hands-off attitude. According to the FCA’s website, practically all financial businesses in the United Kingdom must be approved or registered.
According to CoinATMRadar, there are 17 crypto ATMs in the United Kingdom, but the FCA maintains that none of the 40 or so registered crypto firms are authorized to provide that service.
The UK is in a very different position than other advanced economies and financial systems when it comes to crypto ATMs. Last month, Australia’s total number of cryptocurrency ATMs topped that of the rest of Asia.
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