Britain’s markets regulator and police have swooped on suspected illegal crypto cashpoints (ATMs) across east London as authorities step up attempts to disrupt unregistered businesses deemed high risk for consumers.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which last month launched a similar crackdown in the northern English city of Leeds, said yesterday it was reviewing evidence gathered from “a number of sites” and might take further action. The inspections were conducted under money laundering regulations, which allow officers to enter premises without a warrant, observe activities, seek explanations about documents or information and take copies.
Crypto ATMs (CATMs) allow people to buy or convert money into cryptoassets. But no CATM operators are registered with the FCA, which means any operating breaches British anti-money laundering regulations.
The FCA, which has long warned consumers that cryptoassets are unregulated and that investors should be prepared to lose all of their money, told CATM operators last year to shut the machines down or face further the investigation. CoinATMRadar put the number of these cashpoints in Britain at more than 270 in 2020.