Hong Kong's Markets Regulator Issues Warning Against Crypto Exchange Bybit

The Securities and Futures Commission added 11 Bybit products to its list of suspicious investments.

AccessTimeIconMar 14, 2024 at 12:27 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 14, 2024 at 1:20 p.m. UTC
  • Hong Kong’s markets regulator warned the public about the crypto exchange ByBit and several of the products it offers to investors.
  • The SFC said investors risk losing their entire investment and that it will not hesitate to take enforcement action.

Hong Kong's markets regulator added Bybit to its list of suspicious cryptocurrency exchanges on Thursday, and placed several of the crypto exchange's products on its suspicious investment products list.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) also warned the public that Bybit is unlicensed.

"Investors may risk losing their entire investment," the regulator said in an email to CoinDesk. "Seeking recourse against entities that do not have a nexus with Hong Kong is likely to be difficult."

Hong Kong is attempting to strike a balance between protecting investors and projecting the jurisdiction as crypto-friendly in its goal to become a global crypto hub. Earlier this month, the SFC issued a warning against BitForex, another crypto exchange.

The SFC identified the following Bybit products as problematic:

  • Bybit Futures Contracts and Inverse Futures Contracts
  • Bybit Options
  • Bybit Leveraged Tokens
  • Dual Asset
  • Dual Asset 2.0
  • Bybit Shark Fin
  • Liquidity Mining
  • ETH 2.0 Liquid Staking
  • Bybit Web3 Staking
  • Bybit Lending
  • Bybit Wealth Management.

"The SFC is concerned that these products have also been offered to Hong Kong investors and wishes to make it clear that no entity in the Bybit group is licensed by or registered with the SFC to conduct any 'regulated activity' in Hong Kong," the SFC said. "Last but not least, the SFC will not hesitate to take enforcement action against unlicensed activities where appropriate."

A Bybit spokesperson said the firm was unable to comment on specifics.

"Since different products are listed for various regions to meet local compliance requirements, you can be confident that these products are not available in the HK market," the spokesperson said in an email. "Bybit maintains a close dialogue with regulators around the world including HK and strives to comply with all applicable regulations."

UPDATE: (March 14, 13:19 UTC): Adds comment from Bybit spokesperson.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.