Crypto exchange Binance has confirmed to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) that it will no longer open accounts for new customers in the Canadian province of Ontario.
The industry’s largest exchange also committed to cease trading for existing Ontario-based accounts and will provide fee waivers and reimbursements to certain users.
These commitments—sent to the OSC here—are accompanied by several acknowledgments made by Binance about the reality of the exchange’s activity in Ontario.
The exchange has acknowledged that Ontario investors were able to continue to trade on its platform after restrictions were “supposedly put in place.”
Importantly, Binance’s undertaking to the OSC represents a “legally enforceable” commitment from the exchange to the regulator going forward.
“This undertaking represents a legally enforceable commitment by Binance to the OSC. The OSC reserves the right to take enforcement action against Binance for any past, present or future breaches of Ontario securities law not arising from the events described in the undertaking,” the OSC said in a statement yesterday.
The move comes after a series of spats with the Canadian regulator, a story that began in the summer of 2021.
Binance’s relationship with the OSC
In June 2021, Binance announced it would withdraw its services from Ontario. The exchange notified users to close active positions by December 31, 2021.
On December 29, 2021, however, the exchange notified local users that the exchange was allegedly allowed to continue operating in the Canadian province.
In Binance’s undertaking to the OSC, the exchange “now acknowledges that was not correct.”
In response, the OSC said that no entity in the Binance group of companies had any form of securities registration in the province. “This continues to be the case,” the OSC added in yesterday’s statement.
Per Binance’s undertaking to the OSC, on December 31, 2021, the exchange confirmed to the regulator that trading restrictions were in place for Ontario accounts.
On January 1, 2022, the exchange also advised Ontario users that trading access and new onboarding were restricted.
Binance also said the customer service team “tweeted inaccurate information,” advising an Ontario user that they could trade after January 1, 2022, as normal if their account was already open.”
The exchange also acknowledges this was not correct.