The UK watchdog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued an investor alert against Bybit (www.bybit.com). This is an unregulated crypto trading platform in existence since 2018 that claims to have more than 1.2M users and is operated by Bybit Fintech Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands. Dun & Bradstreet presents Ben Zhou, a Singapore resident, as the key principal who describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as Co-Founder and CEO of Bybit. While it may not be the best crypto trading platform, it has no regulatory permission, which is a serious violation but doesn’t seem to be a fraud. However, be very cautious!
What it offers
Bybit, which is based in Singapore according to its LinkedIn page, should indeed have a wide mass of customers and/or followers. More than 3,300 people follow the crypto trader on LinkedIn, more than 116k on Twitter, and almost 15k on Facebook. Evidently, the affiliate and referral programs are working.
Bybit also offers a trading app available for free in the Apple Store and the Google Store. Essentially, one can speculate on Bybit with various crypto and crypto-FIAT pairs and with crypto-derivatives(perpetual contracts). With or without margin trading. There are extensive affiliate and referral programs in place to constantly drive new clients to the platform. Besides, there are generous bonus campaigns and promotions.
On Trustpilot, Bybit has only an “Average” trust level with 2.9 stars. Especially in recent weeks, the reviews have tended to become negative.
No FIAT deposits
Bybit says that it does not hold FIAT deposits, and its users may only deposit cryptos. That’s why they seem to think they can operate their exchange without regulatory permission. However, the FCA seems to think otherwise. Through its FIAT gateway and partners, registered and verified customers can also make FIAT deposits. This involves buying cryptos on these partners’ crypto trading platforms using credit or debit cards or bank transfers and then transferring them to Bybit. The conversion rates are very different and rather unfavorable (see screenshot on the left).
Currently, the following partners are integrated for this FIAT deposit.
- Banxa (http://www.banxa.com) is an Australian crypto payment processor operated by Banxa Holdings Inc., which entertains a network of partner companies globally for FIAT deposits.
- MoonPay (http://www.moonpay.com) is operated by Moon Pay Limited, registered in Malta.
- Mercuryo (http://www.mercuryo.io) is operated by Moneytea Ltd, United Kingdom, and MoneySwap OÜ in Estonia.
With all three partners, one must perform an independent KYC check – independent of Bybit.
No great platform but no scam either
While Bybit may actually need to have regulatory permission, we have not found facts to support the hypothesis Bybit would be a scam. Apparently, the crypto trading platform – like many others in the current hype – has massive customer handling problems. Moreover, there is a lot of criticism about the non-transparent processing of transactions and the resulting profits and losses. In this respect, Bybit is certainly not the best platform for crypto trading, but it is also not a scam. Would we suggest engaging with Bybit? No, surely not!
We would like to hear more experiences and opinions about Bybit and would be grateful if you share them with us.