Binance Still Not Authorized to Operate in Ontario, Securities Commission Says

The regulator’s statement on Thursday comes after Binance said on Wednesday it had worked with regulators to ensure continued operations.

Dec 30, 2021 at 8:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 30, 2021 at 10:41 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance still isn’t registered under Ontario’s securities law, the province’s securities commission said in a statement Thursday after Binance said it had recently cooperated with regulators. The exchange later told CoinDesk Thursday that there has been a “miscommunication.”

Binance told CoinDesk Thursday that there had been a “miscommunication” during the process, and that “it is our top priority to speak to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and will seek to remedy this misunderstanding as soon as possible,” a company spokesperson said in an email.

Binance “continues to be committed to complying with the regulatory regime in Canada,” the exchange added. Binance said it held talks with Canadian securities regulators on its intent to seek dealer registration in Canada, and then notified users in Ontario they could maintain their accounts.

The OSC was nonplussed.

Binance is “not authorized to offer trading in derivatives or securities to persons or companies” in Canada’s most populous province, the OSC said in its statement.

The crypto exchange sent a memo to users Wednesday, saying it would be able to continue to operate in Ontario after successfully working with regulators and customers wouldn’t need to close their accounts by year’s end.

“Binance represented to OSC staff that no new transactions involving Ontario residents would occur after Dec. 31, 2021,” the OSC said in its statement. “Binance has issued a notice to users, without any notification to the OSC, rescinding this commitment. This is unacceptable.”

No entity in the Binance group of companies holds any form of securities registration in Ontario, the commission said. Unregistered platforms operating in Ontario may be subject to action, including temporary orders, to ensure compliance which could affect their ongoing local business operations, the statement added.

The OSC listed six platforms that are registered in Ontario, including Wealthsimple, Coinberry, Netcoins, CoinSmart, Fidelity and Bitbuy.

UPDATE (Dec. 30, 22:20 UTC): Adds comments from Binance spokesperson.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.