Ontario regulator hits two crypto trading platforms with fines

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) said it approved financial settlements on Wednesday with two cryptocurrency firms – Bybit Fintech Limited and KuCoin — for failing to comply with the provinces’ securities laws.

The regulator said both companies operated unregistered crypto asset trading platforms in the province and allowed Ontario investors to trade such assets without a prospectus.

The OSC announced on Wednesday that a panel of the Capital Markets Tribunal ordered a permanent ban on KuCoin from participating in the Ontario market. The company is also required to pay a penalty of $2,000,000 and an additional $96,550.35 towards the cost of the regulator’s investigation.

The panel also approved a settlement agreement with British Virgin Islands-based Bybit that will see the crypto firm disgorge nearly US$2,500,000 and pay an extra $10,000 for investigative costs.

In March 2021, the OSC told crypto platforms to contact the organization if they offered derivatives or securities in Ontario to begin the registration process or face penalties. The regulator said KuCoin and Bybit missed the deadline to contact the commission and continued operations.

The regulator said only Bybit responded to the enforcement action and is now taking steps to bring its platform into compliance.

“Foreign crypto asset trading platforms that want to operate in Ontario must play by the rules or face enforcement action,” said Jeff Kehoe, director of enforcement at the OSC, in a press release.

“The outcomes announced [Wednesday] should serve as a clear indication that we refuse to tolerate non-compliance with Ontario securities law.”

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