According to a blog post by Bybit, the exchange will suspend all of its services in the UK in October. Bybit cites the new regulations put forth by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as the main cause behind the company’s decision.
Last month, the exchange publicly announced its intentions to remain in the UK market. The company and its founder Ben Zhou had been in talks , throughout September, with the regulator in hopes of reaching an agreement where Bybit would be able to sustain its business in the UK.
The company’s set date for suspending all operations coincides with the start date of enforcing the new rules imposed by the FCA.
“From 8 October, UK consumers will have much greater protection as cryptoasset firms’ marketing must be ‘clear, fair and not misleading’, labelled with prominent risk warnings and must not inappropriately incentivise people to invest” read the FCA’s announcement .
Following the announcement, Bybit founder and CEO Ben Zhou told followers that “Compliance is Bybit first priority, Regarding the UK new crypto regulation, we are in talks with the regulator to find the best solution moving forward, no final agreement has been made yet, we will keep our communities informed.”
Right after his announcement, Zhou went on an interview with The Block where he said “We do see regulation becoming more strict. Most likely, we’ll have to retreat in many countries. I think the UK — we’ll have to exit very soon. We recently exited France.”
Reflecting on the situation and overall view of the market Zhou told The Block “FCA has explicitly contacted all the major players — us, OKX, Binance, everyone — and asked what our plan is to deal with this new law. And the new law is that if you use English as a language, they will see you as trying to solicit their users, so you cannot claim that you are in reverse solicitation.”
“Everyone is in trouble. So everyone is thinking of plans for how to deal with this new law,” warned Zhou before a slew of companies exiting from the UK market.
Bybit now joins the likes of Paypal and Luno in the list of companies exiting the UK market due to the new regulations.
In an email to users on September 14th, Paypal announced a temporary pause on crypto buying services in the U.K. in the “coming months,” with plans to resume normal operations in 2024. During this service disruption, users will still be able to hold and sell their cryptocurrency.
Luno, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG) also plans to halt certain services on its platform in the UK, Nick Taylor, head of public policy at the company, told CoinDesk in a statement.
“The FCA has implemented new rules for crypto firms. As a result, all compliant crypto firms with U.K. customers are making a number of changes to their platforms in order to comply with the new regulations,” Taylor said. “For Luno, this includes pausing the ability to invest through the platform for some customers for the time being.”