Bitcoin ATMs first appeared in 2014 and their popularity increased sharply throughout 2020 and 2021. Their popularity attracted scammers as well as negative attention from the UK government.

The UK has not been particularly welcoming of cryptocurrencies or their ATMs. Even before crypto ATMs became popular, the UK published a notice in 2019 that included ATMs under anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, as well as all crypto exchanges.

The AML requirements made it their subjects to pass on a KYC process by collecting usernames, official IDs, dates of birth, and residential addresses.

According to FCA, there are no crypto asset companies operating in the UK offering AML-compliant ATM services. A recent FCA post says:

“None of the crypto businesses registered with us have been approved to offer crypto ATM services, which means that any of them operating in the UK are doing so illegally and should not be used by consumers.”

The post continues with the FCA warning about closing all illegal ATMs:

“We are concerned about crypto ATMs operating in the UK and will therefore be reaching out to operators to direct machines to be shut down or face further action.”

The FCA also published a list of unregistered crypto companies, to inform its users of their existence. Since the list was published, 110 companies have closed their operations in the UK.

ATMs that tried to register with FCA had no luck and no requests were accepted.

The most recent example is a company offering crypto ATM services called Gidiplus, owned by Olumide Osunkoya and his wife Sallu Osunkoya, Gidiplus, which applied for FCA registration on June 22, 2022.

Even though Gidiplus complied with AML KYC requirements, the FCA rejected their application stating that there was a “lack of evidence on how Gidiplus would go about its business in a broadly compliant manner”.

Reports show that this rejection was decided due to:

“The risk that the applicant’s business may be used for money laundering or terrorist financing.”

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Posted In: UK, Regulation

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This post All UK Bitcoin ATMs to Shut Down Because FCA Deems Them ‘Illegal’

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