The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the central financial regulator of the United Kingdom, has issued a statement regarding the presence of Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in the island country.
In what came as a surprise to many in the industry, the UK authority has issued a stern order to shut down or face further action from Bitcoin ATM operators, outlining their intention to contact these companies. to confirm the notification.
The watchdog cited a lack of regulatory structure, the risky potential of fluctuating assets and the importance of upholding the principles enshrined in the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) as the main reasons for enforcement.
“We are concerned about crypto ATMs operating in the UK and will therefore be contacting operators with instructions to shut them down or take further action.”
The FCA has granted registration approval to 33 crypto companies under the MLR framework since August 2020, the most notable of which are: Gemini Europe Ltd, Kraken’s holding company Payward Ltd, Galaxy Digital UK Limited and recently added to the list on January. 14, eToro (UK) Ltd.
In addition, the FCA has offered temporary registration status to 22 companies until March 31, 2022, after which a decision will be made on the validity of their application. These companies include Blockchain Access UK Limited (blockchain.com), Copper Technologies (UK) Limited, Revolut Ltd and Wirex Ltd.
Analytical data conducted by Coin ATM Radar indicates that there are 81 Bitcoin ATMs in the UK, operated by eight companies. The word presented by the FCA is that none of the 33 approved companies have filed proper documents or obtained licensure to operate Bitcoin ATM services within the jurisdiction, and therefore all others should be considered illegal businesses.
The precedent for this ruling was set on November 15, when Gidiplus Limited, the Bitcoin-centric crypto-asset vending machine (CATM) service, received a decision notice from the FCA denying their application as a “crypto-asset exchange provider.” . also known as a Bitcoin ATM service.
According to the official sixteen page report, Gidiplus did not meet the “registration requirements” under the MLR law.
On December 3, Gidiplus unsuccessfully appealed the decision to quash the ruling in the Upper Tribunal chamber, with the FCA concluding their review on the grounds that the Appellant’s case presented a “lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus conducted its activities in broad compliant fashion pending the decision of the appeal.”