Binance tells regulators it will cease operations in Ontario… for real this time

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Binance confirmed in an undertaking to the Ontario Securities Commission, or OSC, in Canada dated March 16 that the crypto exchange will cease activities involving Ontario residents. Binance will also stop opening new Ontario accounts and provide fee waivers and fee reimbursements to certain Ontario users under the administration of a third party, the company said. 

The undertaking appears to mark the end of a disagreement that started in June, when Binance announced that it would no longer service Ontario accounts and customers were advised to close out active positions by the end of the year. The month prior to Binance’s announcement, the OSC introduced a new prospectus and registration requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges.

In December, Binance told investors that it was allowed to continue operations in the province despite having no registration. The OSC quickly refuted that claim. In the undertaking submitted Wednesday, Binance acknowledged that its statement was untrue. The exchange also admitted it told Ontario investors in a Jan. 1 email that trading and onboarding were restricted, but it continued to allow them to trade as usual. In the undertaking, Ontario users were given 90 days to close out their positions.

The OCS stated that it “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.”

The Ontario regulator is noteworthy for its hardline stance toward crypto exchanges. It recently took action against several exchanges that once operated in the province, including Bitfinex, OKEx, Bybit, KuCoin and Polo Digital Assets. As of late January, the exchanges that have been allowed to operate in Ontario are Bitbuy, Coinberry, CoinSmart, Fidelity Digital Assets and Wealthsimple. The OSC also banned Tether (USDT) in August.

Binance will continue to operate in other Canadian provinces. The Alberta Securities Commission is the exchange’s principle regulator in the country.