Dubai-based exchange Bybit has decided to suspend its services in the United Kingdom, citing the latest regulatory changes by the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
On September 22, the exchange announced that starting October 1, it will pause all its services and will no longer accept new account applications in the UK. Following this initial step, Bybit suspends new deposits, new contracts, and changes to existing positions for its current users in the region on October 8, 8 AM UTC.
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The announcement reads:
“In light of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s introduction of new rules regarding marketing and communications by crypto businesses. […] Bybit has made a choice to embrace the regulation proactively and pause our services in this market.”
Bybit believes that the suspension of services “will allow the company to focus its efforts and resources, enabling it to best meet the regulations outlined by the UK authorities in the future.”
Bybit And New FCA Regulation
In August, the UK enacted the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 (referred to as the “2023 Act”), marking the inclusion of digital assets within the purview of the UK’s comprehensive financial regulatory framework. This change was made possible by making amendments to the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
The new amendments impose a mandatory requirement for companies to comply with the regulations governing advertising and promotions. They must register with the FCA to be eligible for approval of ads and communications. Bybit is currently not registered with the FCA.
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Notably, the decision to exit the UK comes just a week after the company said that it was exploring all options as “leaving the UK is not the part of [their] strategy.” However, it is not the first company that left UK market in response to the newly enacted rules. In a similar vein, the payments giant PayPal also decided to temporarily halt its services last month, with plans to resume them in the coming year.
Bybit followed a similar course of action regarding its presence in Canada a few months ago. In June 2023, Bybit stated that it is going to leave Canadian markets, citing regulatory shift.