UK down to 10 crypto ATMs after financial watchdog’s latest cull

Crypto ATMs are on track to go extinct in the UK amidst a crackdown from the country’s top financial regulator


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The UK’s financial regulator has shut down dozens of crypto ATMs as part of its ongoing crackdown that includes an outright ban.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement it has ceased the operation of 26 machines after inspecting 34 locations.

In one instance, a Sheffield local paid thousands of pounds for crypto which never arrived, the FCA said.

“If you use a crypto ATM in the UK, you are using a machine that is operating illegally and you may be handing your money over to criminals,” said Steve Smart, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, as reported by Reuters.

In March last year, the regulator moved to ban all crypto ATMs across the UK, warning operators to “shut their machines down” or “face enforcement action.”

As a result of its prohibition, the number of bitcoin ATMs across the UK has fallen by more than 88% from 80 in March 2022 to just 10, Coin ATM Radar shows.

The regulator has also called on crypto firms to abide by new advertising measures by October. 

Those rules aim to govern how companies convey information regarding their crypto-related products across websites, applications and social media platforms, among other mediums.

Earlier this month, the UK took steps to progress a bill that seeks to simplify the process of confiscating digital assets for law enforcement and regulatory authorities.

If enacted, the law could empower officers to seize any hardware, software, physical items, or other objects that could aid in obtaining access to crypto.

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