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709, 2017

Canadian regulators striking balance with Initial Coin Offerings

|7 Sep 2017|News|

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have raised US$1.5 billion this year alone, compared to US$100 million in all of 2016. This FOMO-inspiring figure is thanks to the until recently near-complete absence of any securities regulations. In most cases, companies have raised funds entirely in Bitcoin and Ether, and did not put investors through any Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) process. But regulation is coming, and depending on the jurisdiction, companies who have held ICOs in the past could be held to existing securities laws, and this could put a chill on the red-hot ICO market. At the heart of if and how to regulate an ICO is one question; Is a token a security?

2408, 2017

CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings

|24 Aug 2017|Resources|

Cryptocurrency offerings can provide new opportunities for businesses to raise capital and for investors to access a broader range of investments. However, they can also raise investor protection concerns, due to issues around volatility, transparency, valuation, custody and liquidity, as well as the use of unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges. Also, investors may be harmed by unethical practices or illegal schemes, and may not understand the properties of the investment products that they are purchasing. Many of these cryptocurrency offerings involve sales of securities. Securities laws in Canada will apply if the person or company selling the securities is conducting business from within Canada or if there are Canadian investors. Given the significant growth in this area and requests for guidance, we are publishing this Staff Notice to help financial technology (fintech) businesses understand what obligations may apply under securities laws. We note that these products may also be derivatives and subject to the derivatives laws adopted by the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including trade reporting rules.

1303, 2017

The Ontario Securities Commission offers clarity on Blockchain based securities

|13 Mar 2017|News|

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced on Wednesday that Canadian businesses using blockchain technology in their financial products or service offerings may be subject to Ontario securities law requirements. The announcement states the many uses of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), such as blockchain, have the potential to increase transparency and efficiencies in our capital markets. “We are keen to support this type of innovation," said Pat Chaukos, Chief of the OSC LaunchPad.

502, 2017

Canadian Bank Notes and Dominion Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies

|5 Feb 2017|Resources|

This paper studies the period in Canada when both private bank notes and government issued notes (Dominion notes) were simultaneously in circulation. Because both of these notes shared many of the characteristics of today's digital currencies, the experience with these notes can be used to draw lessons about how digital currencies might perform. The paper begins with a brief historical review of how these notes came into existence and of the regulations regarding their issuance.

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