Cryptocurrency ATMs make it more convenient for consumers to buy and sell assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Thousands of these machines exist globally, although not all of them are operated legally. Several of these machines in Leeds, England, will be shut down shortly.
The FCA and local policy forces seek to take action against various cryptocurrency ATMs in the city of Leeds. Several machines are operated without a license. In addition, the FCA enforced a ban on operating crypto teller machines in the United Kingdom in March 2021. That decision was met with some criticism, but it has never been overturned.
At the time of the ban, over 100 machines were operational across the United Kingdom. Many of them enable the buying and selling of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. Per CoinATMRadar, 28 active teller machines exist in the United Kingdom today. Curiously, none are listed in Leeds but in London, Manchester, Cardiff, and Birmingham. That lends credibility to the claims of how the Leeds-based machines operate illegally.
The West Yorkshire Police has identified the locations housing these illegally operated cryptocurrency ATMs. After issuing a warning letter and a cease-and-desist, forcefully shutting down the operations is the next logical step. Whoever runs these machines violates the money-laundering regulations enforced by the FCA.
That said, none of the other operators of cryptocurrency ATMs is without flaws. Businesses in the UK have to register with the FCA for anti-money laundering requirements.
Unfortunately, no operator has achieved FCA registration today. That means these operators still need to file paperwork to achieve that status. However, the requirements are stringent and not everyone can meet the standards.
With that in mind, it isn’t unlikely the other known ATMs will be shut down. Any unregistered crypto ATM operates illegally and will be taken offline forcefully. That is bad news for the United Kingdom’s cryptocurrency industry. However, there are still many exchanges and other ways to acquire Bitcoin, including buying it through G2A and other platforms.