The Ontario Securities Commission's OSC LaunchPad engages with fintech businesses, provides the opportunity for support in navigating the requirements, and strives to keep regulation in step with digital innovation.
Over the past several months, interest in cryptocurrencies has increased significantly. The Investor Office commissioned a small online survey of Ontarians age 18 and over, carried out in November 2017, as a first step towards learning more about which segments of the Ontario public are purchasing cryptocurrencies, how Ontarians perceive the risks of cryptocurrencies, and some of the reasons why Ontarians either are or are not purchasing cryptocurrencies.
This Staff Notice:
• Responds to requests from fintech businesses for guidance on the applicability of securities laws to cryptocurrency offerings and what staff will consider in assessing if an ICO/ITO is a distribution of securities;
• Highlights issues that fintech businesses looking to establish cryptocurrency investment funds should be prepared to discuss with staff;
• Explains how the CSA Regulatory Sandbox can help fintech businesses with cryptocurrency offerings comply with securities laws through a flexible process.
Given the case-by-case approach adopted by the CSA and other securities regulators, organizations considering undertaking an ICO would be well advised to seek legal advice early in their processes to determine the relevant securities law considerations.
With the launch of trading of cryptocurrency futures contracts on certain futures exchange in December 2017, this notice clarifies the minimum margin requirements for these futures contracts for Dealer Member inventory- and client positions.
Bank of Canada Staff Discussion Paper on Digital Currencies:
This paper addresses the question of whether a central bank should issue digital currency that could be used by the general public. It begins by discussing the possible motivations for a central bank to issue a digital currency. The paper then sets out a benchmark central bank digital currency (CBDC) with features that are similar to cash.
2015 Report from the Banking, Trade and Commerce Standing Committee:
We believe that the best strategy for dealing with cryptocurrencies is to monitor the situation as the technology evolves; that Canada Revenue Agency and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) must prepare to navigate and use blockchain technology; that this technology offers new ways to protect the personal information of Canadians; and, finally, that this technology requires a light regulatory touch – almost a hands off approach. In other words, not necessarily regulation, but regulation as necessary.