Representatives of Canada’s cryptocurrency industry are urging lawmakers to provide greater clarity regarding the regulatory obligations of cryptocurrency exchanges. In response to the absence of clear guidelines, a number of Canadian virtual currency exchanges have taken it upon themselves to voluntary register and report to Canada’s financial regulator.
Canadian Crypto Exchanges Push for Greater Regulatory Clarity
Canadian media has reported that a number of local cryptocurrency proponents are calling for greater clarity regarding the regulatory apparatus governing the operations of virtual currency exchanges.
Joseph Weinberg of Shyft, a company providing identification verification services using blockchain technology, has argued that exchanges have been left in the dark as to their regulatory obligations. “Until you have regulators come out and say, ‘This is what you have to do,’ as an exchange, you’re kind of guessing and hoping for the best, which is a big problem,” Mr. Weinberg said.
Cole Diamond, the chief executive of Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinsquare, stated: “We want to be regulated because ultimately we want to be able to provide certainty to our customers that we’re not some fly-by-night trading platform, that they can trust us.”
Canadian Exchanges Adopt Self-Reporting Practices
In the face of stark regulatory uncertainty, several Canadian exchanges have taken it upon themselves voluntarily to report to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac).
Mr. Diamond states that upon initially approaching Fintrac, “they told us we shouldn’t be registered there. We decided to do it anyway because we explained to them we don’t have anywhere else to go. We want to be regulated.”
Despite expecting taking early steps to ensure regulatory compliance will give his exchange a competitive advantage in the long run, Mr. Diamond notes that Coinsquare’s “revenue and trading volume could be at least five-times larger if we did not have an internal compliance regime”
Einstein Exchange CEO Anticipates Early Compliance Will Pay Off Long Term
Vancouver-based Einstein Exchange has also adopted a voluntary reporting regime with Fintrac, in addition to taking measures to minimize the risk of credit card occurring on its platform.
Michael Gokturk, the chief executive of Einstein Exchange, recounts that the exchange was hit with $8.3 billion USD worth of attempted fraud in a single day early into the exchange’s acceptance of credit card payments. “Our system went nuts,” Mr. Gokturk.
Mr. Gokturk added that whilst “It’s so easy to get into this market and it’s so easy to take advantage of the lack of regulation. The best exchanges will welcome regulation and transparency and that’s what we’re trying to do. We welcome it with open arms.”
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