Bybit Suspends Services in Response to UK Crypto Marketing Regulations

In a move that underscores the dynamic nature of the crypto industry, Bybit, the Dubai-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its decision to suspend services in the United Kingdom in response to forthcoming regulations from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA’s new regulations, articulated in the June 2023 Policy Statement (PS23/6) titled “Financial Promotion Rules for Crypto assets,” aim to bring clarity and transparency to crypto marketing practices. These rules, which take effect on October 8, 2023, require crypto businesses to register with the FCA to approve ads and communications—a step towards ensuring fair and accurate marketing within the sector.

Bybit’s proactive approach to embracing these regulations demonstrates its commitment to operating within the bounds of legal frameworks. Starting from October 1, 2023, the exchange will cease accepting new account applications from UK residents. Subsequently, from October 8, existing UK users will no longer be able to initiate new deposits, create fresh contracts, or adjust their current positions. However, they will retain the ability to reduce and close their positions while withdrawing funds from the platform.

A significant aspect of Bybit’s decision is its alignment with the FCA’s October 8 deadline for crypto asset firms to comply with the new marketing rules. This concordance suggests that Bybit is leaving the door open for a potential return to the UK market, pending regulatory approval, by facilitating a smooth transition and compliance process.

By suspending its services in the UK, Bybit intends to focus its efforts and resources on meeting future regulatory requirements set by UK authorities. While the duration of this suspension remains uncertain, it highlights the willingness of crypto exchanges to adapt and comply with evolving regulations, even if it means temporarily exiting certain markets.

Bybit is not alone in its response to the FCA’s regulatory changes. Other major platforms like OKX and Binance are also evaluating their strategies in light of the FCA’s strict guidelines. The new rules, which extend scrutiny to websites accessible to UK customers, necessitate a recalibration of marketing and communication approaches within the crypto industry.