The financial watchdog in the U.K. has declared that all non-registered ATMs must be immediately closed down or be subject to undisclosed additional action.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), United Kingdom’s central financial regulator, has issued a damning verdict on the presence of Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs within the island country.
In what has come as a surprise to many within the industry, the U.K. authority has issued a stern “shut down or face further action” order to operators of Bitcoin ATMs, outlining their intentions to contact these companies to affirm the notice.
The watchdog cited a lack of regulatory structure, the high-risk potential of fluctuating assets and the importance of upholding the principles established within the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) as the primary reasons for the enforcement.
“We are concerned about crypto ATM machines operating in the UK and will therefore be contacting the operators instructing that the machines be shut down or face further action.”
Analytical data conducted by Coin ATM Radar indicate that there are 81 Bitcoin ATMs within the U.K., operated by eight companies. The opinion of the FCA is that none of these companies have filed appropriate documents, or attained licensing status to operate such services within the jurisdiction.
Precedent for this ruling was established on Nov. 15, when Gidiplus Limited, the Bitcoin-centric crypto asset automated teller machine (CATM) service, was handed a decision notice by the FCA which refused their application as a “crypto asset exchange provider,” otherwise in this case known as a Bitcoin ATM service.
According to the official sixteen-page report, Gidiplus did not meet the “conditions for registration” under the MLR law.
On Dec. 3, Gidiplus unsuccessfully appealed the decision to overturn the ruling in the Upper Tribunal chamber, with the FCA concluding their assessment with the notion that the appellants case provided a “lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus would undertake its business in a broadly compliant fashion pending determination of its appeal.”
This is a breaking story which will be updated with more details soon.