Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has made the decision to suspend its services in the United Kingdom, responding to impending regulations from the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In an announcement made on September 22, Bybit outlined its plan to gradually wind down operations in the UK.
Starting on October 1, Bybit will no longer accept new account applications from UK residents. Following this, on October 8, the exchange will suspend new deposits, new contract creations, and the ability to make changes to existing positions for its current users in the UK.
The move by Bybit comes in response to the FCA’s introduction of new rules governing marketing and communications by cryptocurrency businesses. The FCA’s rules aim to ensure that marketing practices in the crypto sector are “clear, fair, and not misleading.” These rules were initially announced in June, and a reminder was issued by the FCA on September 21, emphasizing the October 8 deadline and the potential for criminal charges against non-compliant firms.
Bybit’s decision to suspend services aligns with the FCA’s deadline for crypto asset firms to be in compliance with these new marketing rules. By doing so, the exchange is proactively embracing the regulatory framework set by UK authorities.
Bybit stated that this suspension of services will enable the company to redirect its efforts and resources towards achieving compliance with the UK regulations in the future. The FCA has indicated that certain firms may be granted an extension until January 2024 to ensure compliance with the marketing rules, but this would require prior approval from the regulatory authority.
This is not the first time Bybit has adjusted its operations in response to regulatory changes. In May, the exchange announced a winding-down of its services in Canada, citing “recent regulatory developments.” However, Bybit has also expanded its presence in other markets, such as Kazakhstan, where it received in-principle approval to operate as a crypto custody service provider in May, demonstrating its commitment to adapt to evolving regulatory landscapes while exploring new opportunities worldwide.