Binance calls it quits in Canada, blames new rules

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Binance is the latest in a string of departures from CEO Changpeng Zhao’s home country; it promises to keep working with regulators.

Binance will withdraw from the Canadian market, the cryptocurrency exchange announced on Twitter on May 12. It called its withdrawal “proactive” as new guidance issued by Canadian regulators continues to take a toll on the country’s crypto industry.

Binance is joining some of its smaller competitors in the Canadian exodus brought on by the introduction of rules by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) on Feb. 22 that required them to file new preregistration undertakings and adhere to added restrictions.

Although Binance had reportedly filed a new preregistration undertaking, it explained in a tweet:

“Unfortunately, new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits provided to crypto exchanges makes the Canada market no longer tenable for Binance at this time.”

The new CSA rules prohibited firms “from permitting Canadian clients to enter into crypto contracts to buy and sell any crypto asset that is itself a security and/or a derivative,” and defined stablecoins as a security.

OKX pulled out of the Canadian market in March. It was followed in April by decentralized exchange dYdX and then by blockchain fintech Paxos.

Related: Canada’s central bank asks citizens what they want in a digital dollar

Binance sent its Canadian users an email, seen by Cointelegraph, that instructed them to close their open positions by Sept. 30, 2023. “From October 1st, 2023, Canadian customers will be put into liquidation only mode,” it warned. The exchange added:

“While we do not agree with the new guidance, we hope to continue to engage with Canadian regulators aimed at a thoughtful, comprehensive regulatory framework.”

Binance operated in all Canadian provinces and territories except Ontario, which it withdrew from in March 2022 after a protracted disagreement with that province’s regulators.

All is not lost for Canadian cryptophiles, however. Kraken filed the new preregistration undertaking in March and stated its commitment to staying in Canada. The CSA lists 11 platforms “Authorized to Do Business with Canadians.”

Magazine: Your guide to crypto in Toronto: Crypto City

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