Binance says users in Ontario restricted from using its platform – regulator

Binance app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration
Biance app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 17, 2022

(Reuters) – Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has confirmed in an undertaking to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) that it would stop opening new accounts for users in the Canadian province, the regulator said on Thursday.

The dispute between Binance and OSC started in June last year, when the exchange announced its decision to quit Ontario after a regulatory crackdown on crypto exchanges in the province for allegedly failing to meet securities laws.

However, in December, Binance notified investors that it was allowed to continue its operations in Ontario while still being unregistered in the province, the OSC said.

In the undertaking, Binance also made a slew of other commitments, including halting trading in existing Ontario accounts, with certain exceptions that the company said were necessary “to protect investors”.

The crypto exchange also offered to provide fee waivers and reimbursements to certain Ontario users, and said it would hire an independent third party to oversee the implementation of its commitments.

While Binance’s business boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with retail and institutional investors alike warming to crypto, the company has come under heavy fire from regulators around the world.

The crypto giant also withheld information and kept weak money-laundering checks even as it said it welcomed government oversight, Reuters reported earlier.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)