The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) sent another formal warning to Binance to halt trading. This cease-and-desist comes from the ongoing dispute between Ontario and Binance. On March 17, the OSC released a statement explaining that the “[u]ndertaking 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.”
This dispute began in June of 2021 when Binance notified all Ontario-based users that all activity must end as of December 31, 2021. This directive implied that all active positions must be closed and that funds must be moved elsewhere. However, two days before this deadline, on December 29, Binance retracted its previous statement and notified all Ontario-based users that activities were allowed to resume on the Binance platform.
In response to Binance, the OSC released a statement notifying Binance that they were not authorized to offer services in Ontario. However, once again, Binance announced to Ontario users on New Year’s Eve that they were allowed to utilize Binance services.
According to the released Undertaking and Acknowledgment document from Binance to the OSC, Binance has committed to the following:
- Ceasing opening new Ontario accounts
- Ceasing trading in existing Ontario accounts with exceptions to protect investors, along with winding down its business in certain products
- Providing fee waivers and offering fee reimbursements to certain Ontario users
- Making reports to Staff of the Commission
- Retaining an independent third party to ensure the effectiveness of Binance’s efforts to implement its commitments
It has been identified that Binance requires obtaining the necessary compliance to register in Ontario, although the parameters are unclear given Binance has authorization in other areas of Canada. It has been stated on the OSC compliance page that only a select few companies have been granted permission to offer investors in Ontario crypto products. None of the permitted companies listed would be considered the top global cryptocurrency platforms.
Binance continues to expand and gain licensure in regions such as Bahrain and Dubai and is potentially buying out a securities firm in Brazil. The Ontario situation is one that many are watching.