Bybit to exit Canada due to recent regulatory development

Bybit, a Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange, recently announced its departure from Canada due to regulatory developments in the country. Bybit is suspending its offerings to Canadian residents and leaving the market. Other exchanges, such as Binance, have also left Canada, but firms like Kraken, blockchain (NASDAQ: COIN), and Gemini remain committed to the country. Bybit stated in a blog post that it has always aimed to operate in compliance with relevant rules and regulations in Canada, but due to recent regulatory developments, it made the difficult decision to pause its products and services. Bybit will stop accepting new account applications from new users on May 31st, and its existing account holders will not be able to initiate new deposits or contracts from July 31st. Existing customers have until the end of July to increase current positions before Bybit phases out services. However, customers can still withdraw or reduce their positions after the closing date. The company said it will liquidate other positions after September 30th. Bybit did not explain its exit from Canada beyond “recent regulatory development”. The exchange and other crypto firms have faced a challenging regulatory environment in the country since last year. In June 2022, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) imposed enforcement actions against Bybit and KuCoin, claiming that both crypto exchanges violated securities laws and operated unregistered digital asset trading platforms. In April, Bybit announced plans to introduce compulsory Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for all users beginning in early May. The exchange cited the KYC agenda as necessary to provide a safer and more sustainable trading experience amid growing crypto adoption. However, Bybit’s KYC initiative came several weeks after Canada revealed new crypto company guidance in February. To continue operations, the country mandated crypto trading platforms to secure Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) approval. This guidance proved unpopular in the Canadian crypto space and prompted Binance to pull out earlier this month. While Bybit has announced an official exit from Canada, the company is exploring an expansion into Kazakhstan.

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