After previously slamming reports claiming that it had a plan to leave the country, major cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Bybit has announced that it is suspending services in the U.K. ahead of the introduction of the new rules by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial regulatory body in the country.
The Dubai-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange said in an announcement released on Sept. 22 that “due to recent U.K. regulatory changes, Bybit will suspend its services in the U.K.”
“In light of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s introduction of new rules regarding marketing and communications by crypto businesses as outlined in the June 2023 Policy Statement (PS23/6) entitled ‘Financial Promotion Rules for Crypto assets,’ Bybit has made a choice to embrace the regulation proactively and pause our services in this market,” the exchange said.
It added that its suspension of services in the country will give the exchange the opportunity to focus on how it would be able to best meet the regulations crafted by the financial authorities in the U.K.
Bybit also shared that starting at 8 a.m. UTC on Oct. 1, it would stop accepting new account applications from individuals residing in the United Kingdom as well as those identified as U.K. nationals.
As for old users or existing U.K. customers, services that have been previously provided to them will no longer be available starting Oct. 8.
“Effective from October 8, 2023, 8 AM UTC, UK Customers will no longer be able to make any new deposits, create new contracts, or increase any of their existing positions for all products and services. They can, however, reduce and close their positions, and withdraw their funds from our platform,” Bybit said.
The crypto derivatives exchange will liquidate all open positions of its U.K. customers by Jan. 8, 2024, and all liquidated funds will be made available for customers’ withdrawal.
Bybit’s announcement came after rumors claiming that it would leave the U.K. came out. At the time, the exchange highlighted its unwavering commitment to the U.K. market as well as its plan to stay in the country for a long time.
It is worth noting that Bybit made a similar announcement in May, informing its customers in Canada of the suspension of its operation in the country.
“It has always been Bybit’s primary objective to operate our business in compliance with all relevant rules and regulations in Canada. In light of recent regulatory development, Bybit has made the difficult but necessary decision to pause the availability of our products and services,” its announcement read at the time.