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Major Crypto Exchange Bybit Suspends Services In The UK As New FCA Crypto Rules Bite

Crypto exchange Bybit has announced that it will suspend its operations in the UK ahead of new crypto marketing rules set to be implemented by the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), next month.

Bybit Bows Out Of UK Market

Bybit, one of the largest crypto derivatives exchanges, is halting operations in the UK due to increasing regulatory heat.

Starting from October 1, new customers will not be able to open accounts. This move will be followed by the suspension of new deposits, new contracts, and changes to positions for existing customers from October 8. Closing or reducing of positions and asset withdrawals will be available during the transition period, the official statement stated.

Bybit’s decision is in response to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s new crypto promotion and advertising laws for businesses. The FCA’s upcoming stricter rules will classify crypto as “restricted mass market investments,” which will require any advertisements or promotions to include “clear risk warnings,” and prohibit incentives to invest, such as “refer a friend” or “new joiner bonuses,” the regulator said earlier.

“In light of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s introduction of new rules regarding marketing and communications by crypto businesses as outlined in the June 2023 Policy Statement (PS23/6) entitled ‘Financial Promotion Rules for Crypto assets,’ Bybit has made a choice to embrace the regulation proactively and pause our services in this market,” the Dubai-based exchange said.

Bybit indicated January 8, 2024, as the final deadline for UK users to wind down their remaining positions. Any positions left open after this date will be automatically liquidated, but the resulting funds will be available for withdrawal.

Crypto Firms Exit UK Markets As Regulation Looms

It’s not clear how long the suspension will last and if Bybit will eventually restart UK operations. However, the exchange did indicate 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.”

Notably, Bybit is not the only company winding down services in the UK in response to the new promotion rules. Payments behemoth PayPal, said last month that it would temporarily cease crypto purchases in the UK until early 2024. 

Nonetheless, while firms exit the UK, other crypto titans are planning to stay in the changing regulatory environment. Ripple, for instance, applied for a crypto license in the United Kingdom after its partial victory against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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