UK watchdog urges crypto ATMs to shut down

The Financial Conduct Authority warned consumers against UK-based crypto ATMs, pressing on with its crackdown on digital assets.

In a statement, the FCA confirmed that no UK-based company offering crypto ATM services was found compliant with the UK Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs), concluding that crypto ATMs are at present “illegal”. The FCA vowed “enforcement action” against operators who refuse to uninstall their ATMs, but provided no details.

The FCA emphasized their point by referencing a decision on Gidiplus, a crypto ATM network that appealed the FCA’s refusal to register their business. Gidiplus, which had operated 13 ATMs, was rejected in November 2021 over smurfing concerns. The decision was upheld, and the company is reported to have ceased operation.

According to CoinATMRadar, the UK has 80 crypto ATMs, including 50 in London, as of March 11th. For comparison, in the United States the number of installations surpasses 32,000.