Over 30% of Canadians are planning to buy crypt0-assets over the next year, says the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The regulatory body also believes that a vast majority of crypto-assets fall under its jurisdiction.
Grant Vingoe, CEO of the OSC, made these remarks during a keynote address at the Economic Club of Canada on 6 October.
Crypto-assets to be regulated like stocks
The global market capitalization of the crypto-industry is close to a trillion dollars, despite a nearly 70% collapse over the last few months. According to Vingoe, over 30% of Canadians are planning to buy crypto-assets next year, a finding that will be published as a part of a research report later this month.
Vingoe then went on to clear what he called “misconceptions” surrounding cryptocurrencies. He stated that this is a misconception that the crypto-industry should see different regulatory treatment from other similar entities. He criticized the trust-less structure of the industry for what he alleges is its anti-regulatory bias.
The approach of the OSC towards all the assets in the market is technology-neutral, the exec added. Therefore, regulation would be equally applicable to stocks, bonds, and crypto-contracts. The OSC works with a mandate to act upon all the assets falling within its jurisdiction and a vast majority of crypto-assets do, he stated.
Depending on the lack of regulations and contracts, these assets can be considered securities (Bitcoin and Ethereum), commodities, or derivatives.
Another misconception that Vingoe sought to dispel is that Canadian regulators have been slow to address the emerging crypto-industry. He reminded his audience that the CSA and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) proposed a regulatory framework for crypto-trading platforms as early as 2019.
The OSC had approved the first platform to offer crypto-related services in Ontario last year itself. All these initiatives have been put into motion in correspondence with the evolution of the crypto-market.
Action being taken against non-compliant firms
Vingoe also underlined the challenge before the regulatory body of barring non-compliant firms from offering services in the country. He also tried to clear the misconception that “buyer beware” is an appropriate regulatory philosophy. Instead, HE opined that it is much better when buyers are aware. OSC, in coordination with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), is working to regulate crypto-assets globally.
The OSC has taken action against several crypto-firms over the past few months for non-compliance. In June this year, the regulatory body took action against Bybit and KuCoin for violating securities laws and running crypto-asset trading platforms without registration.
Right now, nine crypto-trading platforms are allowed to offer crypto-services to investors in Ontario.