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Bybit Bows Out of UK Market After Stifling New FCA Crypto Regulations

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Bybit suspends UK operations in response to new Financial Conduct Authority's marketing regulations for crypto businesses.
  • The FCA's new rules mandate clear, fair, and non-misleading marketing, and prominent risk warnings to UK consumers.
  • Bybit's decision highlights increased regulatory scrutiny on crypto businesses trying to adapt to changes in the law.
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Bybit, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its decision to suspend operations in the UK following the introduction of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new marketing regulations for crypto businesses.

The move comes in direct response to a June FCA policy entitled “Financial Promotion Rules for Crypto Assets.”

Bybit Says Goodbye to the UK

Bybit’s decision to halt its UK operations marks a stark contrast to its earlier statement, which assured its commitment to the UK market.

In its official announcement, the company stated:

“It has always been Bybit’s primary objective to operate our business in compliance with all relevant rules and regulations in the UK. In light of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s introduction of new rules… Bybit has made a choice to embrace the regulation proactively and pause our services in this market.”

The suspension will provide Bybit the opportunity to realign its services according to the FCA’s new guidelines. UK customers are encouraged to wind down positions by January 8, 2024, after which open positions will be liquidated.

Read more: Crypto Regulation: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

The FCA’s new rules, coming into full effect on October 8, 2023, require crypto firms to ensure their marketing is ‘clear, fair and not misleading.’ Crypto firms are also mandated to provide prominent risk warnings to UK consumers.

Lucy Castledine, Director of Consumer Investments, emphasized the FCA’s commitment to consumer protection, stating,

“From this October, crypto firms must market to UK consumers clearly, fairly and honestly. And they must provide risk warnings people understand.”

FCA Overhauls UK Crypto Regulations

The FCA has indicated its willingness to grant crypto firms additional time to implement certain changes. This includes giving them a 24-hour cooling-off period. However, firms must apply for this flexibility, contingent on their ability to successfully make the required back-office changes.

The regulatory body continues to remind people that purchasing crypto assets remains high-risk. It also ominously warns them to prepare for the potential loss of all their money.

Crypto Survey Shows 66.3% Respondents Said Their Crypto Investments Were Somewhat Profitable. Source: Forbes Advisor
Crypto Survey Shows 66.3% Respondents Said Their Crypto Investments Were Somewhat Profitable. Source: Forbes Advisor

The FCA’s stringent stance on crypto marketing is part of its broader mission to reduce and prevent serious harm. It also hopes these rules will set higher standards and promote competition and positive change. 

Bybit’s decision to pause its UK services underscores the increasing regulatory scrutiny faced by crypto businesses worldwide. As the industry continues to evolve, crypto firms must remain nimble and responsive to regulatory changes to ensure their survival and growth.

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