Cryptocurrency exchange, Bybit, has recently revealed that it will be suspending its services to customers in the United Kingdom due to new regulations introduced by the country's Financial Conduct Authority ( FCA).
In an official statement, Bybit noted that it intends to carry out the suspension process in two phases. The first phase will be initiated on October 1, when it will stop accepting new account applications from UK customers.
The second phase will follow shortly after on October 8, when it will completely halt new deposits, new contracts, and changes to position for existing Bybit users.
Compliance With FCA's New Rules
Bybit pointed out that the decision to suspend its operations in the UK is in compliance with the FCA's new rules on marketing crypto products.
The company said in the statement, "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."
In June, the FCA introduced a new set of guidelines targeted at providing regulatory oversight on the marketing and advertising efforts of crypto companies.
In the guidelines, the financial watchdog mandated crypto firms to include clear risk warnings in their promotion campaigns as it seeks to establish "clear, fair, and non-misleading" marketing policies within the crypto industry.
The new rules are set to take effect on October 8, the exact date that Bybit intends to fully suspend all of its operations in the UK. Earlier this month, the FCA reiterated its warning, reminding crypto firms of the fast-approaching deadline and the potential risk of criminal charges for failure to comply.
Although the FCA suggested that crypto firms operating in the UK can extend their compliance deadline to January 2024 by obtaining approval, Bybit said that it intends to comply with the new rules promptly.
The company pointed out that it will leverage the suspension period to intensify its efforts to adjust its marketing practices and communications to meet the regulatory requirements, demonstrating its commitment to providing users with regulated services.
Bybit said, "The suspension will allow the company to focus its efforts and resources being able to best meet the regulations outlined by the UK authorities in the future…As crypto adoption continues to grow globally, it is Bybit's mission to deliver next-level trading experiences to all crypto believers with the necessary guardrails in place.
The new FCA rules comes as part of a broader clampdown on irresponsible crypto ads. The regulator noted that crypto memes could attract fines or even jail time.