Bybit, one of the world’s leading crypto exchange operators, is contemplating a hasty departure from the United Kingdom in the wake of stringent new marketing regulations set to be enforced by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on October 8.
Ben Zhou, the CEO and co-founder of Bybit, voiced concerns that these impending rules might necessitate the company’s exit from the UK following its recent withdrawal from France due to regulatory pressures.
Zhou explained, acknowledging the challenges posed by evolving regulatory landscapes:
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.
The FCA’s new regulations aim to enhance transparency and accuracy in marketing cryptocurrency products, including introducing a cooling-off period for first-time investors.
These rules are expected to reshape the solicitation landscape and curtail the use of reverse solicitation loopholes that some exchanges had been utilizing to serve UK customers.
Zhou highlighted the FCA’s explicit outreach to major cryptocurrency players, including Bybit, OKX, and Binance, seeking their strategies for compliance with the upcoming regulations. The FCA’s definition of solicitation, which includes using the English language to target users, poses a significant challenge to the industry.
George Morris, a partner at Simmons & Simmons, emphasized the extensive scope of these regulations, suggesting that even websites accessible to UK customers might be construed as promotional from October 8, affecting a broader range of businesses beyond UK-based firms.
Bybit’s Likely Response To Regulatory Challenges
Despite the regulatory hurdles, Bybit remains a significant player in the cryptocurrency landscape, commanding around 23% of open interest in bitcoin futures, according to data from The Block Research.
CEO Ben Zhou also spoke about Bybit’s vision for the crypto market during Token2049, highlighting their commitment to simplifying decentralized finance (DeFi) for users. Bybit aims to educate and provide user-friendly products for beginners, making DeFi more accessible.
In the fiercely competitive crypto exchange market, Zhou expressed satisfaction with Bybit’s recent performance, emphasizing their desire for robust competition to drive innovation and offer superior products, particularly in the institutional space, with better yields than traditional financial offerings.
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