The Ontario Securities Commission recently declared that it is “keen to support” cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). In addition to its service to help businesses comply with securities laws, it has established a dedicated team to respond quickly to cryptocurrency offerings.
Keen to Support Cryptocurrencies and ICOs
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is the largest securities regulator in Canada and includes the Toronto Stock Exchange within its jurisdiction. It administers both the Ontario Securities Act and the Commodity Futures Act.
The Commission declared its support for cryptocurrencies and ICOs in a tweet last week, stating that:
Cryptocurrency offerings have the potential to change the way financial services are offered to Canadians, and we’re keen to support innovation in this area…we aim to be flexible in our approach and believe it’s important to work together with businesses and investors to find the right balance for those vested in this space.
Cryptocurrency offerings include ICOs as well as investment funds based on cryptocurrencies. On its website, the regulator explained that these instruments “can provide new opportunities for businesses to raise capital and for investors to access a broader range of investments.”
Dedicated Crypto Team
The OSC already has a dedicated team called the Launchpad, whose mission is “to provide direct support to eligible fintech businesses in navigating the regulatory requirements,” its website states. The OSC Launchpad is the first of its kind by a securities regulator in Canada. The Commission emphasized:
We encourage businesses to consider, as early as possible, whether their offering/arrangement involves a security and to reach out to our OSC Launchpad team to discuss approaches to comply with security law.
Furthermore, the regulator offered “to sit down with any business that has questions about this area and regularly host information days for the fintech community on topics such as cryptocurrency offerings.”
Citing how this industry is “rapidly evolving,” the Commission revealed another, related initiative. “We’ve recently established a team of OSC executives to respond quickly to cryptocurrency offerings. This is in addition to the continued work by our dedicated OSC Launchpad team,” it detailed.
The OSC maintained that its regulatory approach to the crypto space is consistent with that of other countries’ regulators such as the ASIC, the SEC, the FCA, and MAS. “We need to be prepared for this new asset class and way of doing business. At the same time, we must balance demand for new ways to raise capital and invest with the need to protect investors from high-risk or fraudulent activities,” the Commission wrote.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, The Star, and the OSC.
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