Canadian bitcoin exchange Vault of Satoshi announced today it had gained a full Money Services Business license in its native country, after spending “some time” in a probationary period. Announcing the license on Reddit, Director of Marketing Adam Cochran wrote:
“Vault of Satoshi has always gone the extra mile to be a ‘by the books’ exchange. We’ve always been a registered corporation, let users know who we are, always reported to FinTrac, we follow all the same regulations as a currency exchange, and we operate inside all Canadian regulations on financial services.”
The license is national, allowing the company to operate in every province of Canada as it serves clients located in most countries around the world. “We are also currently streamlining our bank end financial systems to open ourselves to additional currencies so that in the future we can better serve clients in their local currency,” Cochran said. He added that, while the legal costs of compliance were probably higher in Canada than some places, it was preferable to operating in a grey area and taking risks with clients’ money.
“The decision was no contest. It’s the same reason why others continue to operate in the US from overseas, they are taking a gamble with your money, whereas we at Vault of Satoshi will only operate in methods and jurisdictions in which we can be a fully compliant financial entity,” he continued. “We don’t want your bitcoins magically disappearing and so legal decisions like this are absolutely paramount to making sure we can continue to operate properly.”
The company is also applying for a license with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), saying it wants to be a “legal, transparent and reliable exchange […] to be a positive part of the ever evolving cryptocurrency legal landscape here in Canada.”
It’s a dash of good news for Vault of Satoshi, which at the beginning of March announced “a temporary and voluntary withdrawal from the United States, due to the challenging legal/political landscape for a foreign entity operating in the cryptocurrency space.” It also added that it was working day to day with legal experts and striving towards re-entry into the US market in a secure, legal and reliable manner. Vault of Satoshi was critical of the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which it claimed had been opaque about compliance requirements. It also cited the recent Charlie Shrem arrest as proof of an increasingly hostile regulatory environment, and said the need to undergo separate compliance procedures in nearly all US states was prohibitively expensive.
Client safety and protection of client assets remained paramount, Cochran added.
“Maybe it’s a Canadian thing, we like our peace of mind and that security and reliability is something we strongly feel a responsibility to bring to our clients. We’ll never take a risk with the trust they have invest in us,” he said.
Vault of Satoshi otherwise exchanges USD and CAD for digital currencies in any country other than those on its blacklist, which contains the usual financial world suspects plus the US, Thailand and Iceland.
Vault image via Shutterstock