UK Regulators Order Shutdown of Cryptocurrency ATMs

The British government says none of the country's registered crypto firms has been approved for ATMs, so all crypto ATMs are illegal.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
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Bree Fowler

The UK is cracking down on crypto ATMs.


Regulators in the UK are telling owners of cryptocurrency ATMs to shut down their machines or face enforcement action.

The Financial Conduct Authority said in a Friday statement that since it hasn't granted any of the crypto firms registered in the UK permission to operate ATMs, all crypto ATMs in the country are illegal.

The notice comes after a judge last month dismissed an appeal from crypto ATM operator Gidiplus, which had sought to overturn the FCA's denial of its request for a license. The judge agreed with the FCA's argument that given how crypto ATMs operate, there's no way the company could comply with regulations designed to prevent money laundering. 

The ATMs allow consumers to deposit cash into the machine in exchange for crypto that can be linked to a digital wallet. According to the website Coin ATM Radar, there are 80 bitcoin ATMs operating in the UK, with 50 of them located in London.