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Hong Kong Regulator Flags Bybit, Adds Exchange to "Suspicious" VATP List

Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has warned against a list of Bybit's products, describing the exchange as "suspicious" and "unlicensed"

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Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a public warning about global crypto exchange Bybit.

Describing the exchange as an “unlicensed virtual asset trading platform (VATP),” the SFC said it was concerned about a number of products offered by Bybit:

  • 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 said it was aware that these products were being offered and emphasized to the public that "no entity in the Bybit group is licensed by or registered with the SFC to conduct any “regulated activity” in Hong Kong."

Crypto-related products include "futures contracts" and "securities" and thus dealing in them to target Hong Kong investors constitutes "regulated activity," the SFC explained.

"It is a criminal offense to carry out regulated activities without a license," the SEC stressed. "It is also an offense for any person to issue advertisements, invitations or documents relating to these products to the Hong Kong public without the SFC’s authorization. Any person who contravenes a relevant provision may be prosecuted and, if convicted, subject to criminal sanctions."

The SFC has now added Bybit to its Suspicious Virtual Asset Trading Platforms Alert List and  Suspicious Investment Products Alert List.

Bybit officially applied for a VATP license in Hong Kong in February via the entity Spark Fintech Limited.

ByBit Eyes Hong Kong Market
The cryptocurrency exchange applied for a VATP license on Wednesday, seeking to operate its platform in Hong Kong.

“The city's strategic location and established financial infrastructure make it an ideal base for our operations and institutional clients, serving the Asia Pacific region,” founder and CEO Ben Zhou said at the time.