Regulators around the world have been taking a harder line against cryptocurrencies over the course of the past few months, as concerns about money laundering, terrorist financing, investor protections, and other such quandaries are being debated by law enforcement agencies around the world and policies are being put together.

The UK authorities have been leading the way to resolve some of these issues, particularly with regard to their approach to crypto ATMs, which do not require any KYC or AML checks to be conducted.

Crypto ATMs in the UK are now illegal

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires that all firms dealing with crypto register with them to prove that they have effective AML and KYC steps in place. This is the reason as to why crypto ATMs in the UK are not legal, and there has been a clampdown on their operations over the last few weeks.

Working with the West Yorkshire police force, several areas were raided around Leeds in what is believed to be the UK’s first official crackdown on the practice.

Mark Steward, the FCA’s director in charge of enforcement and oversight, has stated:

“We will continue to to identify and disrupt unregistered crypto businesses operating in the UK. Crypto businesses operating in the UK need to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes.”

What does this mean for retail?

The FCA doesn’t regulate crypto directly, it just requires that there are adequate disclosures and that companies who deal with cryptocurrency are required to register with them. This is one of the reasons that other companies, such as Local Bitcoins, has also shut down recently.

It is still perfectly legal to purchase bitcoin from the UK, and the FCA hasn’t said anything concerning about centralised exchange platforms such as Binance.

However, it is important that users be aware that they are required to use platforms that have made adequate disclosures.

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