Ontario Securities Commission: Binance is not registered in Ontario

Binance users in Canada are receiving mixed signals on whether the exchange will operate in the country.

Binance announced to Ontario users this week that they no longer need to close their accounts at the end of the year

On December 29, Binance users in the province of Ontario began flagging updates they received from the exchange. The updates say that they no longer need to close accounts by December. According to The Block, the Ontario Securities Commission released a statement saying in no uncertain terms: “Binance is not registered in Ontario.”

“This is unacceptable,” the announcement continued. “No entity in the Binance group of companies holds any form of securities registration in Ontario.”

Binance based its statement on its current registration as a money services business with Canada’s anti-money laundering authority, FinTrac. FinTrac is a federal MSB regulator, unlike in the US, where most crypto exchanges operate based on MSB registrations with various state overseers. Binance referred to “ongoing and positive cooperation with Canadian regulators in its announcement.” The firm further said its MSB license “allows us to continue our operations in Canada and resume business in Ontario while we pursue full registration.”

The meaning of “fully registered” was not clear at the time. A Binance representative told The Block that “we are applying with IIROC to become Canada’s securities and derivatives dealer.” IIROC is the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, a self-regulatory organization.

“Unfortunately, there has been a miscommunication. Earlier in the week, we notified users in Ontario that they did not need to close their accounts by December 31, 2021 following discussions with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Alberta Securities Commission regarding registration across Canada. However, we did not meet directly with the Ontario Securities Commission about our intentions, which was clearly an error that we are co. We will provide updated guidance to users as soon as possible”, a representative from Binance told The Block.

Binance took steps to end access in Ontario in June of this year in response to a Canada-wide policy of restricting cryptocurrency trading to exchanges registered with the securities agency.

The Canadian Securities Administrators began cracking down on custodial exchanges earlier this year. The working principle is that custodial accounts represent securities agreements with cryptocurrency exchanges, even if the cryptocurrencies involved are not necessarily securities.

A similar controversy took place this month in Singapore. In that language, Binance already operates both through the global exchange and through a branch of Binance Singapore, both of which do not have the necessary registration to offer cryptocurrency trading.

Sign up for a Binance account here (Discount 10% trading fees): https://accounts.binance.com/en/register?ref=29171587

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