The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned against Bybit a week before the crypto derivatives exchange announced that it would cease operations in the country.
The FCA told The Block on Monday that it gave the warning against Bybit. out on February 24th to alert the public that the exchange was operating in the UK without authorization. One week later, Bybit announced on March 5th that it would cease service to UK residents as of March 31st.
“This company is not authorized by us and is targeting people in the UK,” the FCA said in the warning. “Based on the information available to us, we assume that these are regulated activities that require approval.”
The FCA’s ban on crypto derivatives came into effect on January 6th this year, which means that all existing exchanges operating to or from the UK will have to be registered with the regulator as of that date.
For investors, this means that they cannot trade crypto derivatives directly and can only access crypto derivatives on the basis of a reverse request, and they could still use companies in other countries to trade.
But with Bybit “targeting people in the UK” according to the FCA, the exchange had to take action. On March 5, Bybit announced, “In order to comply with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ban on crypto derivatives, Bybit will cease serving customers in the UK.”
Bybit, with headquarters based in Singapore and registered in the British Virgin Islands, is the third largest Bitcoin futures exchange in terms of open interest according to The Block’s data dashboard. The exchange has nearly $ 2.2 billion worth of outstanding interest or the value of outstanding derivative contracts that have yet to be settled.