Ontario regulator fines Bybit and bars Kucoin in continued fight against unregistered crypto exchanges

The Ontario Securities Commission has scored more courtroom wins against unregistered crypto exchanges. 

In two legal proceedings finalized on June 21 and 22, the OSC has barred Kucoin from Ontario and settled with Bybit, which has committed to working with the OSC to register its platform.

As part of the decisions, the regulator is fining Kucoin CAD$2,096,550.35 (USD$1,621,597.83). Bybit has apparently already disgorged CAD$2,468,910 (USD$1,909,603.13) of its proceeds to the regulator, which is fining the exchange another CAD$10,000 (USD$7,734.60) to pay for its investigation.


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In its announcement, the OSC noted: "Unlike KuCoin, Bybit responded to the OSC’s enforcement action, maintained an open dialogue, provided requested information, and committed to engaging in registration discussions."

The move is part of a string of actions the OSC has taken against crypto exchanges following a decision from the national Canadian Securities Administrators early in 2021 to treat custodial exchanges as securities exchanges regardless of whether the cryptocurrencies are themselves securities. The first such enforcement action was against Poloniex. 

The OSC is a provincial regulator, but Canada lacks a true federal equivalent to the Securities and Exchange Commission. As the OSC oversees the largest securities market in Canada, it is often the tip of the spear when it comes to enforcing the determinations of the CSA. 

About Author

Kollen Post is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things policy and geopolitics from Washington, DC. That includes legislation and regulation, securities law and money laundering, cyber warfare, corruption, CBDCs, and blockchain’s role in the developing world. He speaks Russian and Arabic. You can send him leads at [email protected].