On September 22, the Bybit exchange announced the suspension of its operations in the UK. This comes amid the news about recently adopted rules for the promotion of crypto assets in the country. However, as stated in the announcement, the exchange plans to return and meet the new conditions.
Details of the announcement
The announcement outlines three significant details:
From October 1, UK citizens will not be able to open new accounts on the Bybit exchange.
From October 8, existing UK users will not be able to make deposits and trade cryptocurrency on the platform.
Until January 8, 2024, UK customers can close their existing positions, such as futures contracts, and withdraw their funds. Later, any remaining positions will be automatically closed, with funds available for withdrawal.
The announcement does not specify a deadline for when withdrawals will be terminated.
Bybit explains that “the suspension will allow the company to focus its efforts and resources on being able to best meet the regulations outlined by the UK authorities in the future".
Why is Bybit leaving the UK
Bybit’s decision is primarily attributed to rules enforxed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding the promotion of cryptocurrencies in the country. The new regulations will start to take effect already in October this year. As Bybit CEO Ben Zhou previously stated in an interview with The Block, the regulation is very strict and unclear, so other crypto companies are also facing difficulties. "Everyone is in trouble. So everyone is thinking of plans for how to deal with this new law", he added.
In July, we wrote about the upcoming rule changes in crypto ads in the UK. In brief, the regulator has defined crypto products promotion in broad terms, encompassing even memes as advertisements that should be regulated strictly. Furthermore, companies must constantly warn customers about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies.
Incidentally, on September 21, the FCA published a warning letter, expressing concern over the lack of engagement from several companies.
"We are concerned by the poor engagement from many unregistered, overseas cryptoasset firms who have UK customers on this important change. Many of these firms have refused to engage with the FCA despite our best efforts", the regulator said.
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