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AMF Warns French Investors about Bybit Crypto Exchange

Finance Magnates

Cryptocoins News / Finance Magnates 48 Views

The cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has experienced significant growth over the past year and, after five years of operation, has surpassed 20 million users. However, its expansion is not as dynamic in some regions due to local regulatory challenges.

One such example is France, where the local financial commission, AMF, blacklisted Bybit two years ago. Now, the national regulator issued a new warning to retail investors about the exchange, reminding of its lack of authorization in this part of Europe.

The exchange itself also commented on the matter, reminding that it "proactively exited the French market in October 2023."

AMF Reminds: Bybit is Blacklisted in France

Under French law, digital asset service providers (DASPs) must register with the AMF before offering services connected to digital assets, including operating a cryptotrading platform.

This mandatory registration helps “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 stated.

Bybit, however, has not registered as a DASP and is therefore operating “illegally” in France. The AMF emphasizes that unregistered platforms providing these services violate French law.

Representatives of Bybit, on the other hand, stated that they "had been working very closely with the AMF and were in the process of seeking a license." Wanting to ensure full compliance with local regulations, the company decided to exit the local market in 2023.

The AMF issued a similar warning against another well-performing cryptocurrency exchange, Bitget, over a month ago. The warning closely resembles the one concerning Bybit.

AMF Considers Legal Action, Urges Investor Caution

In addition, the AMF “reserves the right to take legal action to block the platform's website” in France. The regulator is urging French retail investors who have invested through Bybit to take necessary measures to avoid losing access to their assets.

“All investors must make arrangements for the eventuality that the platform suddenly ceases to provide services to the public residing in France.”

The AMF reminds investors to consult its whitelist of registered DASPs on its website before investing in cryptocurrencies or related assets.

Two months ago, Bybit also came under scrutiny from another regulator, Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The SFC warned investors about Bybit and several of its offerings, highlighting the cryptocurrency exchange's lack of licensing and cautioning about the risks of engaging with the firm. The regulator flagged 11 of Bybit's products as suspicious investments, raising concerns about potential risks to investors.

Second Biggest in Crypto Spot Volumes

However, the exchange appears to be performing well in other regions and continues to introduce new features. In May, Bybit announced the launch of Bybit P2P Shield, a program designed to enhance user security and trust in its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform.

Additionally, Bybit has introduced a new feature to improve the user experience for crypto purchases. By integrating Google Pay, Bybit is offering a streamlined approach to acquiring digital assets, signaling a shift in the landscape of cryptocurrency transactions.

It is also worth noting that, according to the Finance Magnates Intelligence benchmark, Bybit ranked second among the largest cryptocurrency platforms in terms of spot trading volumes in April.

Bybit's volume in April 2024 reached $138 billion, a sixfold increase compared to the same month the previous year.

This article was written by Damian Chmiel at www.financemagnates.com.
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