Canadian regulator tightens grip on crypto trading platforms

Quick Take

  • Canada’s financial watchdog is enforcing stricter requirements for crypto firms following the collapse of FTX crypto exchange last month.
  • Companies offering services to Canadian residents will fall under the same rules.

Canada’s financial regulator is expanding the provisions crypto trading platforms are expected to adhere to in light of the FTX exchange collapse last month. Licensing will also see tighter enforcement, including firms based outside of the country but accessible to citizens.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) outlined stricter requirements for crypto firms in a statement published on Monday. Measures include separating client and proprietary business assets, ensuring client assets are held with an “appropriate custodian,” and prohibiting offering margin or leverage for Canadian users. 

Platforms outside of Canada that offer services to Canadians will fall under the same requirements. 

The CSA required crypto firms to commit to acquiring registration in August by obtaining a pre-registration undertaking (PRU) license. This meant the same requirements applied as registered platforms. 

Now, the CSA is not cutting any slack. If a platform does not show a PRU to its regulator, the CSA “will consider all applicable regulatory options to bring the platform into compliance with securities law, including enforcement action,” the statement said. A deadline will be issued soon.

The watchdog also noted that it regards stablecoins as “securities and/or derivatives,” which are prohibited. Canadian traders cannot trade or be exposed to such crypto assets on registered or pre-registered platforms.

Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from founder and former FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing to disclose those transactions.


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