UK Watchdog Asks Crypto ATM Providers to Stop Operating or ‘Face Enforcement Action

Financial Conduct Authority (UK) has stated that it requested cryptoasset service providers who operate crypto ATMs to shut down their machines or face enforcement action. According to the watchdog, since no crypto firm it has approved is authorized to operate a crypto ATM in the U.K., any of these companies operating one is illegal.

The FCA stated in a statement that it had taken the decision to pursue crypto ATM operators responsible for the reported 81 machines after a U.K judge had ruled against Gidiplus, a crypto ATM operator.

The statement stated that Gidiplus asked the country’s Upper Tribunal for permission to trade while it awaits the outcome of its appeal, which is an appeal against the FCA’s refusal to register it under the Money Laundering Regs (MLR). The judge who heard the case said that there was not enough evidence to support Gidiplus’s claims.

In the meantime, the FCA stated that 110 of the crypto firms on its unregistered list are no longer operating. The FCA concludes its statement by warning customers about the potential dangers of trading in cryptocurrencies. According to the statement:

We warn people that cryptoassets can be unregulated and high-risk. This means they are not likely to offer any protection in the event of a disaster. People should expect to lose their entire investment.

FCA’s Position on Crypto Use to Avoid Sanctions

In a separate statement the FCA clarified that financial sanctions regulations in the country ‘does not distinguish between cryptoassets or other forms of assets’. According to the watchdog, any use of cryptoassets in order to avoid economic sanctions is a crime under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2018.

As concerns grow that sanctioned Russian entities may use cryptoassets in order to avoid sanctions, the FCA has issued a warning. The watchdog stated in the statement that it had written to all registered cryptoasset companies and those with temporary registration status to emphasize the imposition of sanctions against various individuals.

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