Digital asset exchange Bybit has announced it’s winding down its operations in Canada over recurring challenges with local regulators.
The exchange announced via a May 30 post on its website that it would take a phased approach for its exit. Beginning on May 31, new Canadian users will be unable to create accounts on the platform, but existing customers will continue to enjoy unrestricted access to Bybit’s services.
“It has always been Bybit’s primary objective to operate our business in compliance with all relevant rules and regulations in Canada,” the post read. “In light of recent regulatory development, Bybit has made the difficult but necessary decision to pause the availability of our products and services.”
The next stage of the exit process will see Canadian customers barred from making deposits or increasing the size of their positions starting on July 31. Effective from that date, users cannot increase the size of spot and margin trading and are encouraged to liquidate their holdings.
Bybit disclosed that margin trading, leverage tokens, and “crypto loans” will be automatically liquidated on September 31. While users will be unable to access Bybit’s services, the post confirmed that they would be allowed to withdraw their automatically liquidated assets.
“As the adoption of crypto continues to grow, our mission is to provide safer and sustainable trading experience to all crypto enthusiasts while maintaining necessary safeguards,” Bybit stated.
Bybit came under fire from Canadian regulators after the Ontario Securities Commission ordered it to pay $2.4 million for operating without proper registration. Despite the exchange’s plan to issue new Know Your Customer (KYC) rules, Bybit faces stern opposition from regulators in Hong Kong and Japan.
However, the exchange has its eyes on new frontiers following the launch of a new headquarters in Dubai and the receipt of “in-principle approval” to operate in Kazakhstan.
Mass exodus from Canada
As Canadian regulators increase their surveillance over the digital assets industry, several service providers opt to exit the country for friendlier jurisdictions. The largest digital asset exchange by transaction volume, Binance, revealed early in the month that new rules regarding stablecoin and investor limits “make the Canada market no longer tenable” for the platform.
dYdX announced in April that it had begun winding down its services in Canada after the Canadian Securities Administrators floated tighter rules for service providers. The decentralized exchange hinted that it could return to the jurisdiction if the regulatory climate changes “to allow us to resume services in the country.”
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