Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, wrote to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) on March 16. Binance stated in the letter that it will “halt opening new Ontario accounts,” halt trading in existing Ontario accounts, with exceptions to protect investors, along with winding down its businesses in certain products and providing fee waivers and offering fee reimbursement to certain Ontario users. Binance will report to OSC personnel and hire an independent third party to monitor the success of its efforts to fulfil its undertakings.
Binance has decided to discontinue its services in Ontario in June 2021. In the same month, the exchange informed Ontario users that they must terminate all active holdings by December 31, 2021. Binance stated in their statement that on December 31st of last year,
Binance affirmed to staff that the trading limitations for Ontario accounts remained in place and would be maintained, including (a) no trading by current Ontario users, (b) no new Ontario users, and (c) no marketing to Ontario users.
However, on December 29, Binance informed Ontario users that it was permitted to continue operating in the province. The Canadian regulator stated that Binance has sent a communication to users, without any notification to the OSC, rescinding this pledge. This is intolerable. Binance has admitted that this announcement was incorrect.
Binance confirmed in its letter that despite statements made to [OSC] personnel and investors, Ontario investors were able to trade after the limitations were allegedly in place.
Furthermore, Binance confirmed that its customer care staff tweeted erroneous information, advising an Ontario user that they may trade as normal after January 1, 2022, if their account was already open, which Binance now concedes was incorrect. Binance has told the regulator that it intends to pursue a regulatory approach in order to assure compliance with Ontario securities legislation.