Bybit to stay in UK despite looming curbs on crypto promotion
Crypto exchange Bybit is actively exploring options to continue operating in the U.K. despite impending changes in financial promotions rules that are set to come into effect next month.
These new regulations will extend to crypto companies and impact their ability to engage with local customers, requiring them to be registered or authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority when reaching out to U.K. clients.
Some firms, like Luno and PayPal, have already adjusted their crypto operations in response to these changes. Bybit’s CEO, Ben Zhou, stated that the exchange is in discussions with regulators to determine the most suitable approach going forward.
Earlier in May, Bybit informed its Canadian users that it would cease operations and no longer be accepting new customers effective May 31, 2023. The industry’s giant seemingly opted to pull out of Canada, rather than comply with securities law or face regulatory scrutiny.
“Leaving the U.K. is not part of our current strategy. There are still several avenues available for crypto exchanges to achieve compliance with U.K. regulators in the future, and we are actively exploring all options for this market. We are engaged in partnerships and consultations with local businesses, assessing potential collaborations with entities in the U.K., which will enable us to continue our operations in full compliance,” Ben Zhou added.
In light of these regulatory changes, crypto forms are adjusting their offerings in the UK to stay in line with the shifting landscape of rules and consumer safeguards.
Earlier in June, the UK introduced new advertising rules for firms marketing crypto assets to consumers. Citing concern over investor protection, the FCA watchdog suggests that customers should take a brief period to educate themselves further about the risks involved.
Under the new rules, the financial watchdog introduced a 24-hour “cooling-off” period specifically for first-time investors. This pause allows investors to take a step back and reconsider their decision before proceeding with this type of risky investment. Additionally, the practice of offering ‘refer a friend’ bonuses will be prohibited.
The new regulations also require firms promoting crypto products or services to include a clear risk warning in their promotions and verify that individuals have the necessary knowledge and experience to invest in cryptocurrencies.