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Bybit Warned for Operating Illegally in France, but Where Else is it Banned?

Last Updated May 21, 2024 3:18 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated May 21, 2024 3:18 PM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • France’s financial regulator has repeated its warning against Bybit, operating illegally in France since May 2022.
  • This reflects a global trend towards stricter crypto regulation, prioritizing investor protection and financial stability.
  • Stricter regulation may help make crypto more legitimate and attract institutional investors.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), France’s securities regulator, has reiterated its warning to crypto investors  about Bybit, which has been blacklisted in the country since May 2022.

The AMF blacklisted the exchange for not complying with French regulations. This means it is banned in 14 countries.

AMF Warns French Public Against Unregistered Crypto Platform Bybit

On May 16, the AMF said Bybit was operating illegally in France.

The AMF said the exchange offers digital asset services on behalf of third parties without proper registration. The regulator also warned that it could, potentially, block the exchange’s website.

The regulator said  platforms like Bybit were illegal because they were not registered as digital asset service providers.

AMF put Bybit on its blacklist in May 2022 due to non-compliance with French regulations. This put the exchange alongside other previously blacklisted platforms, such as 24cryptoforextrading.net and cryptoneyx.io.

However, the AMF has approved crypto platforms like Gemini , Coinbase, and Circle. This suggests blockchain companies can meet French regulatory standards.

AMF Warning Against Bybit Sparks Mixed Reactions

The announcement got a range of reactions. Some people appreciated the guidance, while others accused the AMF of trying to dictate investment choices.

One user expressed frustration , suggesting this could drive investors to riskier platforms if they wanted to invest as they saw fit, sarcastically noting this as “great protection.” They argued for the creation of more secure platforms as a better way to protect investors.

AMF’s Bybit Past Actions Signal Stricter Crypto Regulation Globally

Binance’s past brushes with regulatory investigations, despite its heavyweight status in the cryptocurrency exchange market, underscore a significant point. The French securities regulator shows willingness to enforce compliance vigorously, even against major industry players.

This trend of stringent regulation is expected to continue as the global cryptocurrency market grows. Governments worldwide face the challenge of striking a balance between helping new technology and ensuring consumer protection and financial stability.

France’s approach could well serve as a model for other countries aiming to create a secure and regulated crypto environment.

Global Expansion Faces Regulatory Hurdles Despite Market Success

In March, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission also warned that Bybit was operating as an unregistered crypto trading platform. Similar regulatory scrutiny prompted Bybit to exit the markets in Canada and the UK in 2023.

Bybit, established in 2018 and based in Singapore, operates globally but excludes service  to several restricted places. These include:

  • The United States
  • The Canadian Province of Quebec.
  • Russia.
  • Cuba.
  • Crimea.
  • Venezuela.
  • Belarus.
  • Zimbabwe.
  • Iran.
  • Syria
  • North Korea.
  • Sudan.
  • Mainland China.

Despite this, Bybit has pursued global expansion, launching regulated crypto trading platforms in the Netherlands and Kazakhstan.

Since it came out in 2018, Bybit has grown into one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. On February 27 2024, it recorded a trading volume of more $71 billion.

Is This a Good Thing When It Comes To the Crypto Industry?

While the AMF’s stance might seem to hinder new developments, it could also be seen as a crucial stride towards legitimizing the crypto sector. Heightened regulatory oversight can build trust and lure institutional investors who have been hesitant due to crypto’s volatile reputation.

This regulatory effort by France might not only help create a more mature and stable crypto system domestically but could also set a precedent that influences global standards.

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