'Unacceptable': OSC warns Binance remains unregistered in Ontario
Cryptocurrency trading platform Binance has broken its word to regulators, according to the Ontario Securities Commission.
Binance had previously told OSC staff that no new transactions involving Ontario residents would occur after Dec. 31 of this year, the provincial securities regulator said in a statement Thursday afternoon. The company had informed its Ontario users in June that their accounts would be closed on that date.
However, Binance rescinded that commitment on Wednesday, saying in an email to users that its registration as a money services business with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada would allow the platform to continue operating in Canada’s most populous province.
The OSC said that Binance did not inform the regulator of any change in plans, adding “this is unacceptable.”
“No entity in the Binance group of companies holds any form of securities registration in Ontario,” the OSC said. “This means they are not authorized to offer trading in derivatives or securities to persons or companies located in the province.”
The OSC statement went on to warn that “unregistered platforms operating in Ontario may be subject to action, including temporary orders, to ensure compliance which could affect their ongoing local business operations.”
Six crypto asset trading platforms have registered in Ontario in as many months, the OCS said. Those platforms include Wealthsimple, Coinberry, Netcoins, Coinsmart, Fidelity and Bitbuy, the OSC said via email. Binance was absent from the list.
“Crypto asset platforms that have or will be applying for registration with securities regulators should be aware that misrepresenting their registration status raises concerns about the fitness of the firm and its principals for registration,” the OSC said.
Asked to comment on the OSC statement, a Binance spokesperson said via email "there has been a miscommunication."
"Following discussions with the Canadian securities regulators about Binance's intention to seek dealer registration in Canada, earlier in the week we notified users in Ontario that they did not need to close their accounts by December 31, 2021," the company said. "It is our top priority to speak to the Ontario Securities Commission and will seek to remedy this misunderstanding as soon as possible.