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UK Crypto ATM Raided by Financial Regulator

red image of bitcoin atm and policeman in uk
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UK authorities have carried out raids on multiple sites in and around Leeds, targeting illegally operated crypto ATMs.

The operation aimed to gather evidence of machines suspected of facilitating buying or converting traditional currencies into digital coins, such as Bitcoin. These machines were found in various locations around the city, and authorities have taken action to shut down their operations.

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FCA investigated illegal crypto ATM UK operations

The UK's FCA is taking action to enforce its prior announcement that any crypto ATMs operating within the country without proper authorisation are doing so illegally.

The financial regulatory body has partnered with the West Yorkshire police to combat the illegal operation of cryptocurrency ATMs in Leeds, a city in northern England. The West Yorkshire police's cyber team has identified "several live crypto ATMs", although they did not disclose the exact number or location of these machines.

According to Coin ATM Radar data, there are currently 27 Bitcoin ATMs installed across the UK. This operation marks the country's first crackdown on illegally operated crypto ATMs, highlighting the FCA's commitment to upholding regulatory compliance in the burgeoning cryptocurrency market.

According to Detective Sergeant Lindsey Brants of West Yorkshire police, warning letters were issued to the illegal operators instructing them to cease their operations. The letters also clarified that any violation of regulations would lead to an investigation under money-laundering regulations.

Cryptocurrency companies need to be registered under FCA

According to the FCA, all companies that offer cryptocurrency-related services in the UK must be registered with them to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations.

The FCA has cautioned explicitly that none of the registered crypto asset businesses has the authorisation to provide ATM services. As a result, any UK crypto ATMs currently operating are considered to be doing so illegally.

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