Canadian Regulator Takes Action Against Bybit Over Alleged Violations Of Securities Law
The Ontario Securities Commission is pursuing a regulatory action against Bybit Fintech Ltd, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, that operates a cryptocurrency platform in the country.
The regulator accused Bybit of disregarding and flouting the Canadian securities law.
Regulator Files Statement Of Allegations Against Bybit
According to the statement of allegation filed by the regulator, Bybit failed to comply with the registration requirements even though the OSC cautioned unregistered trading platforms in March.
The OSC had issued an April 19 deadline for crypto exchanges to register before offering derivatives products in Ontario, but Bybit failed to do so.
As a result, the regulator has now added Bybit to its investor warning list and has set a hearing date of July 15. The OSC said,
“Entities such as Bybit, which flout this compliance process, expose Ontario investors to unacceptable risks and create an uneven playing field within the crypto asset trading platform sector.”
Potential penalties include payment of not more than $1 million in fines for each failure to comply with Ontario securities law. It may also include penalties stipulating Bybit to cease trading for a given period of time.
OSC's action against Bybit comes after it took similar enforcement action against another exchange, KuCoin, earlier this month. Last month, the OSC also alleged that crypto exchange Poloniex had not completed its registration process.
The regulator’s reasons have remained the same across all three instances – the exchanges offered securities and derivatives to Ontario residents without complying with the province's securities laws.
Founded in 2008, Bybit is one of the biggest crypto exchanges with millions in trading volume. Headquartered in Singapore and registered in the British Virgin Islands, Bybit is the third-largest Bitcoin futures exchange by open interest.
Bybit Faces Similar Enforcement Action In Japan, UK
Regulators around the world have become more cautious about cryptocurrency services as exchanges, and trading platforms are now more scrutinized.
Bybit seems to be familiar with these actions. The exchange has not only gotten in trouble in Canada but is also having issues with regulators in Japan.
A few weeks ago, the crypto derivatives platform received a warning from Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) over unregistered operations.
Bybit has also previously received a similar warning in the United Kingdom. Earlier on Feb. 24, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a notice alerting the public that the exchange has been operating in the UK without authorization.
A week later, Bybit announced on March 5 that it would stop servicing UK residents from March 31.
Despite these recent hurdles, Bybit still ranks in the top five in terms of the largest Bitcoin (BTC) futures exchanges volume of trades.