The United Kingdom watchdog has announced a ban on cryptocurrency ATMs. A shutdown order has been issued citing a lack of appropriate regulatory structure. The primary reason is the concern related o money laundering and thereafter the high fluctuations in the prices.
Nearly three dozen crypto companies were granted approval by the FCA in the period of about past two years under the most notable MLR framework. The companies include Kraken's holding, Gemini Europe and Galaxy Digital UK. Moreover, about 22 companies have been granted temporary registration until March 2022. Some of these are Copper Technologies, Wirex and Revolut. Apart from all these, the latest data reveals about eight companies operate a total of 81 Bitcoin ATMs in the country.
Meanwhile, it is learned none of the approved companies have yet attained the licensing status or filed appropriate required documents to operate ATMs in the UK. This is the reason the ATMs are now being considered illegal enterprises.
Last November, FCA handed over a decision notice to Gidiplus, which provides Bitcoin ATM services in the country, about application refusal. The report cited registration conditions were not met as required by the MLR law. The company attempted to overturn the decision through an appeal, but it ended up unsuccessfully.
About Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATM kiosks allow buying or selling of cryptocurrencies by debit card or cash. It was first approved in Canada even though the enforcement was time-taking. In the United States, there are about 24,700 Bitcoin ATMs A good jump in the number of ATMs was witnessed between 2018 and 2021.
Similarly, more than 1000 Bitcoin ATMs can be found across the European Union and the highest number is in Spain with 174 crypto ATMs followed by Austria with 133 ATMs and Poland with 114 ATMs. Romania, Czechia, Greece and Italy house 87, 69, 63 and 60 ATMs respectively.
FCA is the acronym for the Financial Conduct Authority and it was formed in April 2013 by replacing the Financial Services Authority. It is headquartered in London in the UK and looks after the financial environment in the country. It functions alongside the Financial Policy Committee and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
It is an independent regulatory body and ensures finances for functioning from members' fees. It enjoys significant powers such as regulating the conduct of marketing financial products. It can investigate individuals as well as organizations. It can freeze the assets of organizations or individuals.