In their most recent move to disrupt unlicensed enterprises in the cryptocurrency industry, the British FCA set its sights on cryptocurrency ATMs.
During its inspections, the regulator will examine the evidence that has been collected and may contemplate taking additional action.
On March 8, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it “used its authority to check numerous premises in East London suspected of housing unlawfully running crypto ATMs.”
These machines enable customers to purchase or convert money into cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum.
FCA: No crypto ATMs registered as of now
According to a statement, the regulatory body will evaluate the evidence obtained during its inspections and consider further action if deemed appropriate. It was also said that no cryptocurrency ATMs are registered with the FCA anywhere in the nation.
The operation with the Metropolitan Police came one month after a similar operation in Leeds. The watchdog, which discovered in 2021 that around 4.4% of people in the United Kingdom had crypto assets, has frequently advised investors that they risk losing all their money if they invest in cryptocurrencies.
The steady decline in the value of digital assets has caused a wave of firm failures, leading to tighter regulations concerning cryptocurrencies worldwide. After reaching a high of more than $67,000 in late 2021, the price of a single bitcoin has since dropped to its current level of about $22,000.
What is the likely impact on crypto?
The recent move by the U.K. watchdog could see other governing bodies follow suit. If watchdogs continue crackdowns on crypto ATMs, it could significantly impact the crypto industry.
Crypto ATMs have been gaining popularity recently as a convenient way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using cash. However, they have also been a target for regulators concerned about potential money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
A crackdown on crypto ATMs could lead to decreased demand for cryptocurrencies, as it would become more difficult for people to purchase them using cash. This could result in a drop in prices for cryptocurrencies and a slowdown in adoption and innovation in the industry.
However, on the positive side, a crackdown on crypto ATMs could lead to greater scrutiny and regulation of the industry, increasing its legitimacy and reducing its association with illicit activities. This could ultimately lead to greater adoption and growth of the crypto industry in the long run.