The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s central financial regulator, has issued a ruling on the availability of Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in the island nation.
To the surprise of many in the industry, the UK government has issued a strict “closing or other action” order for Bitcoin ATM operators, outlining their intention to contact these companies to confirm the warning.
The supervisor cited the lack of a regulatory framework, the high potential for asset volatility risks, and the importance of adhering to the principles set forth in Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) as the main reasons for implementation.
“We are concerned about crypto ATMs operating in the UK and will therefore be reaching out to the operators and asking them to shut down these machines or take further action.”
Since August 2020, the FCA has granted approval to register for 33 crypto companies under the MLR, most notably: Gemini Europe Ltd, holding company Kraken Payward Ltd, Galaxy Digital UK Limited, and most recently added to the list on January 14, eToro (UK) Ltd.
In addition, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has offered the temporary registration status of 22 companies until March 31, 2022, when a decision will be made on the validity of their applications. These companies include Blockchain Access UK Limited (blockchain.com), Copper Technologies (UK) Limited, Revolut Ltd and Wirex Ltd.
Analytical data by Coin ATM Radar shows that there are 81 Bitcoin ATMs in the UK, operated by eight companies. The word given by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is that none of the 33 approved companies have submitted the relevant paperwork and obtained the status of licensed to operate Bitcoin ATMs within the jurisdiction, and therefore all other companies should be treated as illegal businesses.
The precedent for this decision was set on November 15 when Gidiplus Limited, a bitcoin automated counter service (CATM) focused on bitcoin, received word of a decision from the FCA to reject its application as a “cryptocurrency exchange provider.” It is known as a Bitcoin ATM service.
According to the official sixteen-page report, Gidiplus does not adhere to the “Registration Terms” under the MLR Act.
On December 3, Gidiplus unsuccessfully appealed the decision to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) concluded in its assessment that the appellant’s case “lacks evidence of how Gidiplus conducts its business in an overall consistent manner”. Awaiting a decision on appeal. “