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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of Britain has recently once again undertaken a cryptocurrency-machines-2023-07-10/?rpc=401&” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener nofollow”>crackdown on illegal crypto machines operating across the country. With a firm warning to consumers about the potential loss of their funds, the FCA has shut down a total of 26 machines that were found to be illegally offering cryptocurrencies.

This move comes in response to an incident where a member of the public deposited £1,000 into a crypto ATM in Sheffield, only to receive no cryptocurrency or funds in return, as highlighted by the FCA.

FCA’s Crackdown On Illegal crypto Machines

In a coordinated effort with other law enforcement agencies, the FCA conducted inspections at 34 locations suspected of hosting crypto ATMs since the beginning of this year. As a result, they have “disrupted” 26 machines that were operating unlawfully.

The FCA has raised awareness among the public, stressing the risks associated with using these unauthorized crypto ATMs, including the possibility of handing money over to criminals without any legal protection.

Steve Smart, the joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, issued a statement cautioning individuals against using crypto ATMs in the UK.

He emphasized that these machines are operating illegally, and users run the risk of losing their money without any recourse:

If you use a crypto ATM in the UK, you are using a machine that is operating illegally and you may be handing your money over to criminals. You will not be protected if something goes wrong, and you could lose your money.

The FCA’s actions highlight the importance of regulatory oversight in the cryptocurrency space, particularly in ensuring consumer protection.

Risks Of Unauthorized crypto ATMs

cryptocurrency ATMs have gained popularity as an accessible way for individuals to buy and sell digital assets. However, the lack of proper regulation opens the door to illegal activities and potential scams.

By shutting down these illegal machines, the FCA aims to safeguard consumers and send a strong message to operators engaging in unauthorized crypto transactions.

Meanwhile, as the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, regulatory authorities face the ongoing challenge of addressing illegal activities and ensuring the safety of investors. The FCA’s efforts to crack down on illegal crypto ATMs contribute to the broader goal of establishing a secure environment for individuals interested in engaging with digital assets.

According to a crypto-atms-across-uk” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener nofollow”>press release published in May, the FCA announced it would continue to crack down on illegal crypto ATM operations in the United Kingdom. 

Therese Chambers, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA said in the press release:

crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal. The action we’ve taken over the past few months and wider work shows that we will act to stop illegal activity.

Chambers added that the importance of these raids in raising awareness of the risk of illegal crypto ATMs, especially as the UK is still a region lacking a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and digital assets operation.

The global <a href=crypto market cap value on TradingView” width=”2770″ height=”1556″/>
The global cryptocurrency market cap value on the 1-day chart. Source: crypto TOTAL Market Cap on TradingView.com

Regardless, in the last 24 hours, the global cryptocurrency market has experienced a 1.8% surge in market capitalization, reaching a current valuation of $1.232 trillion.

Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView

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