French Authorities Issue Warning Over Bybit

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  • France’s financial regulator has issued a fresh warning over Bybit, advising customers to be wary of the exchange suddenly pulling the plug
  • Bybit was highlighted as unregistered and operating illegally in France, putting customers at risk.
  • The notice has suggested that enforcement action against Bybit could be imminent

France’s securities regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), has issued a fresh warning over the cryptocurrency exchange Bybit, cautioning customers to prepare for the potential cessation of its services in France. In a notice issued on Thursday, the AMF highlighted that Bybit is not registered as a digital asset service provider (DASP) and is operating illegally within the country. Yesterday’s notice suggests that enforcement action against Bybit could be imminent. 

AMF Warns Users to Take Care

Bybit has been on the AMF’s blacklist since May 20, 2022, due to its unauthorized operations, and the AMF took the opportunity to remind investors of the importance of its regulations:

This registration makes it possible to maintain public order though prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, to verify the good repute and competence of its directors, or even to impose specific measures to protect retail investors.

The AMF added that, under the Monetary and Financial Code, it reserves the right to take legal steps to block the platform’s website if it doesn’t comply with regulations, advising retail investors to take necessary precautions to ensure they can access their assets in case of sudden service termination:

In this regard, the AMF is urging French retail investors who have invested on this platform to take all necessary measures to avoid being unable to access their assets (digital assets or digital asset derivatives). All investors must make arrangements for the eventuality that the platform suddenly cease to provide services to the public residing in France.

This warning from the AMF mirrors a similar alert issued by Hong Kong’s financial regulator over Bybit in March, which added Bybit to its list of suspicious crypto exchanges, warning the public that the platform is unlicensed.

Bybit has faced regulatory challenges elsewhere as well, quitting the United Kingdom last year citing recent regulatory changes, a year after it agreed a settlement with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) over operating outside of regulations. This was followed by a withdrawal from the country in 2023.