Cryptocurrency ATMs illegal right now in UK

Financial watchdog warns operators to shut down or else

All cryptocurrency ATMs are operating illegally in the UK and must be shut down now, the nation's Financial Conduct Authority said in an alert on Friday.

Terminals accepting or dispensing crypto-coins in the country must be registered with the watchdog to make sure they comply with Blighty's Money Laundering Regulations (MLR), which came into effect for digital assets in 2020.

The problem here isn't that none of the companies operating the machines have registered their equipment. Even if they have, none of them have been approved by the FCA. And those that haven't registered can't have been a green light, so all of the digital-coin cash machines in use in the United Kingdom are right now illegal.

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"None of the cryptoasset firms registered with us have been approved to offer crypto ATM services, meaning that any of them operating in the UK are doing so illegally and consumers should not be using them," the regulator said in a statement.

After a list of unregistered cryptocurrency trading and exchange platforms was published by the regulator some 110 companies have since pulled out of the UK. But some continue to flout the rules and still have terminals around. The FCA warned them to shut down their machines or "face further action."

"We regularly warn consumers that cryptoassets are unregulated and high-risk which means people are very unlikely to have any protection if things go wrong, so people should be prepared to lose all their money if they choose to invest in them," the FCA added. ®

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