The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK's financial markets regulator, has announced a ban on all cryptocurrency ATMs in the country. The regulator says the ATMs are operating illegally.
Cryptocurrency ATMs have been on the rise over the past year. These facilities make it easy for people to trade between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
UK Bans Cryptocurrency ATMs
Cryptocurrency ATMs are facilities that accept and distribute cryptocurrency. The FCA says they should not be registered until they resume operations. According to the regulator, these ATMs should comply with Blighty's Money Laundering Regulations (MLR). The MLR takes effect in 2020 to regulate digital assets.
None of the cryptocurrency ATMs operating in the UK are registered with the FCA, which has led the regulator to ban these assets. In addition, those companies seeking FCA approval have not yet received it. As a result, all cryptocurrency ATMs in the UK are currently illegal.
In a statement, the FCA said, "None of the cryptocurrency asset companies registered with us are authorised to provide cryptocurrency ATM services, which means that any operating in the UK are illegal and consumers should not use them."
Cryptocurrency companies leave the UK
The FCA has published a list of unregistered cryptocurrency trading and exchange companies operating in the UK. The strict rules imposed by the FCA have led to more than 100 cryptocurrency businesses leaving their operations in the UK.
However, some companies remain intact as they seek to streamline their operations by obtaining the required licenses. In addition, some cryptocurrency ATMs are still operating despite the FCA's claim that their operations are illegal. The regulator has warned that these companies will face further action if they do not shut down their operations.
"We regularly warn consumers that cryptocurrency assets are unregulated and high risk, which means that people are unlikely to have any protection if something goes wrong, so if people choose to invest in cryptocurrency assets they should be prepared to lose all their money," the body of regulators added.
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