Bitfinex has been placed on the UK Financial Conduct Authority's warning list of firms that may be promoting financial services or products without permission.
"You should avoid dealing with this firm," the FCA stated on its website last Friday.
The financial regulatory body said that firms cannot promote financial services in the country without the necessary authorization or approval. It added that Bitfinex is "not authorized by us and may be targeting people in the UK."
"Over the past four months, Bitfinex has held detailed discussions with the FCA and has proactively taken measures to meet the FCA's requirements including issuing a notice to all its customers providing details of all the measures it has taken to meet the FCA's requirements," the trading platform said in a blog post.
Bitfinex added that to meet the FCA's new rules on crypto asset promotions, it has blocked a range of website pages to visitors from the UK. "This includes the Bitfinex Affiliates pages, Staking pages, Credit / Debit Cards, Lending Pro, Bitfinex Borrow, various 'How to buy' pages, and the Mobile App information page," the firm added.
The FCA's new financial promotions rules apply to firms promoting crypto asset services across a wide range of media forms, from websites and social media outlets to online advertising. To stay on the right side of the guidelines, unregistered crypto asset firms need to ensure promotions are approved by the FCA, or by an FCA-authorized person.
The FCA has set out the steps firms can take to comply with the regime. It also explains the actions the FCA may take against firms that fail to comply.
The regulator said unregistered crypto asset firms who fail to comply are likely to be in breach of section 21 of the UK's Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This would be a criminal offense, punishable by up to two years imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.
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