April 17, 2024

UK’s Crypto Regulator, FCA Orders Closure Of All Bitcoin ATMs 

The United Kingdom’s cryptocurrency watchdog has ordered that all unregistered ATMs be shut down immediately or face unspecified punishment.

Bitcoin ATMs Ordered To Stop Operation 

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), the leading financial regulator of the United Kingdom, has decided against the presence of BTC ATMs on the island.

The British authorities have issued a harsh “closed down or risk further action” warning to owners of BTC ATMs, explaining their plans to reach out to these firms to confirm the warning. The recent notice is coming as a shock to those in the crypto industry.

Poor Regulatory Framework Cited As Reason

The key grounds for the crackdown, according to the watchdog, were an absence of regulatory framework, the risky potential of volatile assets, and the need to adhere to the principles outlined in the MLR (AntiMoney Laundering Regulation).

“We are worried about the operation of digital currency ATM machines in the United Kingdom and will be approaching the operators to request that these machines be turned down or suffer further action.”

From August 2020, the FCA has given registration authorization to 33 crypto firms according to the MLR system. The most noteworthy of the firms are Gemini Europe Limited, Kraken’s parent group Payward Limited, Galaxy Digital UK Limited. Most recently, eToro (UK) Limited joined the list on the 14th of January. 

Furthermore, the Financial Services Authority has granted interim registration permission to 22 firms until 31st of March 2022, after which a conclusion on the legitimacy of their request will be made. These companies are Revout Ltd, Copper Technologies Ltd, Wirex, Blockchain.com, and many others.

81 BTC ATMs Closed

According to Coin ATM Tracker statistics, there are over 81 Bitcoin ATMs in the United Kingdom, and they are operated by about t eight different businesses. According to the FCA, all the 33 permitted organizations have not filed the necessary documentation or obtained the necessary authorization to conduct BTC ATM services inside the country. As a result, all of them will be considered unlawful entities.

The foundation for this verdict was set on the 15th of November when the FCA issued a judgment notice to Gidiplus Limited. Gidiplus is a Bitcoin-based cryptocurrency automated ATM that provides Bitcoin services. The notice revealed that the regulatory body rejected their application to become a “cryptocurrency exchange provider,” also referred to as a BTC ATM provider.

From the sixteen-page assessment report published, Gidiplus could not fulfill the MLR law’s “criteria for registration.” On the 3rd of December, Gidiplus attempted to appeal for the verdict to be reversed in the Higher Tribunal chamber. The FCA closed its evaluation stating that the appellant’s case had insufficient evidence on how they would operate in the country by following the available regulation.

Perhaps, the companies operating Bitcoin machines in the country would be allowed to operate if they obtain a license and stick to the regulations of the FCA.

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