Canadian regulatory council creates new preregistration filing for crypto platforms

The Canadian Securities Administrators will require crypto trading platforms to file an undertaking committing them to investor protections while their registration is in process.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the council of provincial and territorial securities regulators, announced Monday that crypto trading platforms will be expected to provide a preregistration undertaking to their principal regulators as they take steps to comply fully with securities regulation. Two platforms, crypto.com and the Canadian platform Coinsquare Capital Markets, have already filed those undertakings. 

Trading platforms will be expected to agree in the undertaking to comply with terms and conditions relating to investor protection. Filing the undertaking will allow crypto trading platforms to continue operating during the review of their applications for registration with the CSA. The new undertaking is part of the “interim approach” introduced in guidance on securities law requirements for crypto asset trading platforms released in March 2021 by the CSA and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Crypto.com and Coinsquare Capital Markets filed undertakings with the Ontario Securities Commission, which is their principal regulator. The CSA said in its announcement that it was in discussion with other platforms about the undertaking.

Related: Canadian regulators warn against ‘gambling style’ advertising and marketing in guidelines for crypto companies

Crypto trading platforms in Canada face lengthy waits for registration. They can obtain “restricted dealer” status before receiving full registration. Platforms that have applied to be restricted dealers still need to file the newly instituted undertaking.

Crypto.com pointed out in a statement that it is already regulated in Canada by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) of Quebec. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek said in the statement that:

“The North American market, and Canada specifically, represent a significant area of potential growth for the crypto market.”

The CSA indicated that member organizations could “take action” against platforms that fail to file an undertaking.

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