The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has told all crypto ATMs operating in the UK to shut up shop.
The regulator also said that owners failing to comply with the order would face enforcement action.
The FCA said: “Crypto ATMs offering crypto-asset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK money laundering regulations.”
Britain has 81 Bitcoin ATMs, according to Coin ATM Radar, which tracks the machines around the world.
Most are in convenience stores and supermarkets which the FCA has also written to.
They are run by at least eight operators, none of whom are licensed by the FCA and all of whom have been told to shut down.
“We regularly warn consumers that crypto assets are unregulated and high-risk which means people are very unlikely to have any protection if things go wrong, so people should be prepared to lose all their money if they choose to invest in them,” the FCA said in a statement.
Operator Gidiplus recently lost a judicial review that attempted to overthrow an FCA decision to deny it a license.
The judgment concluded that there was a “lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus would undertake its business in a broadly compliant fashion.”
The FCA has clamped down hard on crypto business in the UK. Only 33 firms are on its register, and 22 of them are on a temporary approval list that expires at the end of this month.
All crypto operators under the Temporary Registrations Regime (TRR) need to gain FCA approval if they wish to trade beyond the end of March.
The UK has also tightened its rules on crypto advertisements. The country’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned several crypto campaigns recently, including taking down a meme coin promotion just last week.