Ad Customers Unimpressed After Regulators Shut Bitcoin ATM

The oldest building in the world to house a Bitcoin ATM, which has been closed for the past 15 months. (Credit: Devon Live/BPM MEDIA)

Customers who showed up to buy cryptocurrency at a pub in Devon had to be turned away following new rules from regulators.

Disappointed bitcoin enthusiasts had previously used a hypermodern bitcoin ATM-style machine at the old-world Bishop Lacy Inn in Chudleigh.

But since the government cracked down on crypto ATMs, the pub has kept people away from the machine for 15 months. Meanwhile, the owners of the company that installed the machines in Devon have applied for a license.


The ATM is still in place at the pub, but the power has been cut until proper permission has been granted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Meanwhile, the owners of the Bishop Lacy — the oldest building in the world to have a Bitcoin ATM — found themselves turning away customers and explaining to callers that everything was on hold.

A pub spokesperson said: “Our application has been ongoing for approximately 15 months. The machine is still in place but we cannot use it.

“We used to take a lot of money every month from this machine to put into bitcoin. You’d be amazed at how many people buy, even in a small town like Chudleigh.

“We get calls all the time from people wanting to come in and use the machine. It’s a shame the FCA hasn’t given their clearance yet because now is the right time to buy.

What is a Bitcoin ATM?

LA LIBERTAD, EL SALVADOR - JUNE 16: A person scans a QR code at a bitcoin ATM on June 16, 2021 in Chiltuipan, El Salvador. Playa El Zonte has been named as the Capital of Bitcoins, around 500 families are promoting the use of cryptocurrency to help the economy of a place with poverty issues. Salvadorans from the El Zonte community have been using Bitcoin for two years in their businesses, shopping and basic shopping cart payments. El Salvador has become the first country in the world to recognize bitcoin as legal tender. (Photo by Alex Pena/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A person scans a QR code at a bitcoin ATM in Chiltuipan, El Salvador. (Credits: Getty)

Unlike typical ATMs where you can withdraw money from your bank account, Bitcoin ATMs allow you to buy and trade cryptocurrency using real money. These machines produce blockchain-based transactions that send cryptos to the user’s digital wallet via QR codes.

Crypto ATMs typically use an internet-based cryptocurrency portal to handle transactions. In the case of a Bitcoin ATM, users deposit their money and the machine converts the money into crypto and sends the funds to your Bitcoin wallet.

Users can also invest in multiple cryptocurrencies and all funds are secured in the same wallet unlike traditional banking where a user needs separate cards and accounts for each company.

Steve Underwood of SatoshiUK, one of three directors of the company which installed the ATM at Bishop Lacy, said: ‘FCA are extremely diligent.

“It’s such a shame because everything is on hold and we were providing service to people.

“For a small town like Chudleigh, we were doing well – people came from all over.

“Our main customers were the over 55s and women. The other day I got a phone call from the one in Paignton saying people are ringing all the time asking when they can come and use the machine.

The offline Bitcoin ATM at the Bishop Lacy Inn in Chudleigh.

The offline Bitcoin ATM at the Bishop Lacy Inn in Chudleigh. (Credits: Devon Live/BPM MEDIA)

According to the FCA, Crypto ATMs offering crypto-asset exchange services in the UK must be registered with us and comply with UK Money Laundering (MLR) regulations.

“None of the crypto-asset companies registered with us have been licensed to offer crypto-vending machine services, meaning one of them operating in the UK is doing so illegally and consumers should not use them.”

According to recent statistics, there are around 80 Bitcoin ATMs operating in the UK, none of which have been approved to offer crypto ATM services.

“We regularly warn consumers that crypto assets are unregulated and high risk, which means people are very unlikely to get 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.

Bitcoin ATMs were introduced in 2014 when there were only 301 such machines in the world.

Bitcoin ATMs are particularly appealing to crypto investors because they can bypass the cumbersome Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures common on cryptocurrency trading platforms.

There are now nearly 34,000 cryptocurrency ATMs available around the world that provide users with options to buy and exchange cryptocurrencies with fiat currency (real money).

Although these ATMs can be found all over the world, 90% of them operate in the United States, while Canada comes in second with just over 2,200 machines.

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Ad Customers Unimpressed After Regulators Shut Bitcoin ATM

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