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March 19, 2022

Binance will shut down operations in Ontario

Binance confirmed in a Wednesday undertaking to the Ontario Securities Commission, or OSC, in Canada that it will cease activities involving Ontario residents. Binance will also stop opening new Ontario accounts and will offer fee waivers and reimbursements to certain Ontario users under the supervision of a third party, according to the company.

The agreement appears to be the end of a dispute that began in June when Binance announced that it would no longer service Ontario accounts and advised customers to close out active positions by the end of the year. The OSC introduced a new prospectus and registration requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges a month before Binance’s announcement.

Binance informed investors in December that it was permitted to continue operations in the province despite the lack of registration. That claim was quickly debunked by the OSC. Binance admitted in its undertaking submitted on Wednesday that its statement was false. The exchange also admitted that it informed Ontario investors in a January 1 email that trading and onboarding were restricted, but that they could continue to trade as usual. Ontario users were given 90 days to close out their positions in the project.

The OCS stated that it reserves the right to take enforcement action against Binance for any past, present, or future violations of Ontario securities law that are not the result of the events described in the undertaking.

The Ontario regulator is notable for its tough stance on cryptocurrency exchanges. It recently took action against several former province-based exchanges, including Bitfinex, OKEx, Bybit, KuCoin, and Polo Digital Assets. Bitbuy, Coinberry, CoinSmart, Fidelity Digital Assets, and Wealthsimple were the only exchanges permitted to operate in Ontario as of late January. Tether (USDT) was also banned by the OSC in August.

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