CORRECTION (Nov. 11, 11:45 UTC): Corrects headline and story with correct attribution. Corrects headline to say Europe and corrects timeline in second paragraph.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX has had its license in Cyprus suspended by the jurisdiction’s securities regulator following a liquidity crunch that prompted a withdrawal freeze.

“CySEC called upon the Cypriot Investment Firm FTX EU Ltd to suspend its operations and to proceed immediately with a number of actions for the protection of the investors,” a person from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission told CoinDesk.

“The Company is regulated by CySEC under the provision of Investment Services Law and is authorized to provide investment services in derivatives and/or other financial instruments. However, it is not licensed by CySEC to engage in the direct trading of crypto assets.”

FTX secured approval for its domain from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in March after acquiring local firm K-DNA Financial Services LTD. The entity was later re-named FTX EU LTD. In September, FTX EU said it had secured a CySEC license to operate as a Cyprus investment firm.

The exchange said at the time that the CySEC license enabled it to “serve the whole European Economic Area,” which includes the EU as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

After a liquidity crunch triggered the collapse of the multibillion-dollar crypto enterprise, headquartered in the Bahamas, it had its assets frozen by the country’s securities regulator on Thursday as the regulator aims to “preserve assets and stabilize the company.”

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission did not immediately respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment.

UPDATE (Nov. 11, 15:15 UTC): Adds quote from CySEC.

UPDATE (Nov. 11, 11:59 UTC): Adds more detail throughout.


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Author: Alan Johnson