UK Regulators Shut Down Bitcoin Cash Points

The UK ordered the closure of cryptocurrency cash points on Friday after financial regulators declared these installations illegal.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a non-governmental regulator operating in the United Kingdom, said on Friday that these “cryptocurrency ATMs” are currently illegal and must be FCA approved and comply with money laundering regulations. Declared that there is. To operate within the scope of the law.

“Cryptocurrency ATMs that provide crypto asset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK money laundering regulations,” FCA said. statement.. “None of the crypto asset companies registered with us are authorized to provide crypto ATM services, which means that companies operating in the UK do so illegally, so consumers are Should not be used. “

“We are concerned about crypto ATM machines running in the UK, so we will contact the operator to shut down the machine or instruct us to face further action,” FCA continued.

At the time of the announcement, 81 crypto ATMs were in operation in the country, more than half of which were found in London.

These kiosks provide a convenient way for users to exchange Bitcoin for cash, sometimes with a phone number and email address (otherwise a driver’s license or other). You will need to verify your identity in writing). Users can deposit the selected cryptocurrency in a digital wallet that can be accessed with a QR code. The ease of use of these machines allows users to avoid many of the technical obstacles that previously hampered entry for cryptocurrency buyers.

However, there are concerns that such easy access would benefit criminal companies that are fascinated by cryptocurrencies because of their anonymity and difficulty in tracking.

These cash points are becoming more and more popular in recent years and are being scrutinized more and more. In contrast to the UK’s only 81 Bitcoin ATMs, Over 50,000 Operated in the United States.

But US financial regulators are not without reservations about them. Last year, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report (pdf) Demanded stricter regulation of cryptocurrency ATMs and claimed that these facilities were used to promote drug trafficking and sexual trafficking.

“According to GAO’s review of government documents and data and interviews with officials, cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used illegally to promote the trafficking of people and drugs,” the report said. “For example, the number of reports of suspicious activity submitted to the financial crime investigation network, including cryptocurrency and drug trafficking, increased five-fold (252 to about 1,432) between 2017 and 2020.”

Nicholas Dringer


Nicholas Dolinger is a business reporter for The Epoch Times and author of the “The Beautiful Toilet” podcast.