Canadian Securities Regulator Bans Kucoin, Settles With Bybit

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has banned KuCoin exchange from operating in the region following securities violations.

It also announced that it had reached a settlement agreement with Bybit with respect to the exchange’s failure to comply with Ontario securities law.

The regulator had issued warnings to both KuCoin and Bybit last year, saying that the two platforms may have violated securities regulations. 

The commission said that the two companies had failed to register as crypto-asset trading platforms. Director of Enforcement at the OSC Jeff Kehoe said: “Foreign crypto-asset trading platforms that want to operate in Ontario must play by the rules or face enforcement action. The outcomes announced today should serve as a clear indication that we refuse to tolerate non-compliance with Ontario securities law.”

KuCoin will also have to pay an administrative penalty of $1.54 million and the costs of the investigation. The reason KuCoin has been banned is that it had not complied with the OSC’s demands.

Bybit agreed to stop accepting new accounts for Ontario residents, not release new products, or engage in marketing or promotional activities. 

KuCoin did not meet any of these demands or even respond to the OSC’s enforcement action and never “maintained an open dialogue, provided requested information, and committed to engaging in registration discussions.”

Canadian authorities standing ground

Last year, when the OSC called out KuCoin for breaking securities laws, it said that investor protection and volatility were the primary concerns. 

Binance has also been forced to cease trading in Ontario after the OSC charged it with similar violations. The exchange agreed to stop accepting new accounts and committed to stopping serving existing ones.

Canada and its stance on crypto also made headlines during the COVID-19 trucker protests earlier this year. The government used emergency powers to impose restrictions on the crypto asset class. The decision was swiftly condemned and called draconian by some.


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