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- Bybit, a leading crypto exchange, anticipates leaving the UK due to upcoming marketing rules.
- New regulations by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) take effect on Oct. 8, emphasizing transparent crypto marketing.
- CEO Ben Zhou confirms the possibility of Bybit’s retreat from various countries, including a recent exit from France.
Bybit, amidst growing regulatory pressures, contemplates an exit strategy from the UK as the crypto space faces tighter marketing norms.
Bybit’s Potential UK Departure
Bybit, renowned globally as a major crypto exchange operator, foresees its withdrawal from the UK market. This decision comes in the wake of impending marketing regulations set to be implemented soon. Ben Zhou, Bybit’s co-founder and CEO, remarked on the anticipated strictness of such regulations. “The UK — we’ll have to exit very soon,” Zhou stated, following Bybit’s recent departure from France.
New FCA Regulations on Crypto Marketing
As of Oct. 8, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is set to roll out its new regulations, aiming for a transparent and accurate crypto marketing landscape. This includes introducing a cooling-off period for crypto newcomers. Zhou believes these rules will overhaul solicitation methods. It’s noteworthy that, despite the 2021 ban on crypto derivative products in the UK, some exchanges have managed to serve the UK clientele through reverse solicitation. Yet, this may all shift after Oct. 8. Zhou revealed the FCA’s direct communications with leading exchanges, emphasizing the need for compliance with these new rules.
Implications for Major Crypto Players
All significant crypto players, including Bybit, OKX, and Binance, are at a crossroads regarding these regulatory changes. Zhou mentioned the FCA’s clear stance: utilizing English indicates an intent to solicit UK users, eliminating the reverse solicitation claim. Consequently, Bybit is seriously considering severing its UK connections.
Understanding the New Regulatory Regime
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George Morris, a partner at Simmons & Simmons, shed light on the promotional regime’s history and its implications for crypto firms. Morris stated that while securities firms have been subject to this regime for decades, it now encompasses crypto entities. Highlighting the expansive nature of these rules, he said, “Anyone with a website that can be accessed in the UK is subject to these requirements.” This emphasizes the stringent regulatory environment even for non-UK crypto enterprises.
Bybit’s Evolving Landscape
Bybit, established in 2018 with a primary focus on derivatives, has diversified its offerings over the years. While it introduced spot trading, its foundational strength in derivatives remains intact. Presently, Bybit holds an impressive 23% share of open interest in bitcoin futures, as per The Block Research’s data.
The crypto sphere is in the throes of regulatory upheaval, particularly in the UK. With the FCA’s imminent regulations, exchanges like Bybit face challenging decisions, which could reshape the crypto landscape in the region. As firms grapple with these changes, the industry awaits the long-term implications of such strictures on global crypto operations.