Latest Posts

Alison Manzer Looks at Brexit, Supply Chain Problems and Blockchain Technology with the Bankless Times

Alison Manzer has been quoted in the article “Brexit Troubles Provide Backdrop for Supply Chain Problems Solvable by Blockchain Technology,” published by Bankless Times.

Read Full Article
The Spectre of Regulation Looms for Crypto Asset Trading Platforms

On March 14, 2019, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) published Consultation Paper 21-402: Proposed Framework for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms (the Consultation Paper), a consultation paper seeking stakeholder input regarding a regulatory framework for crypto asset trading platforms (Platforms).

Read Full Article
Mar 19, 2019
Risky Business: Opportunities and Challenges for Growth in the Crypto Insurance Market

On March 14, 2019, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) jointly published a consultation paper (the Consultation Paper) regarding the development of a regulatory framework for crypto-asset trading platforms (Platforms) in Canada.

Read Full Article
US Federal Court Rules Cryptocurrency Covered Under Securities Laws: Will Canada Follow Suit?

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York in United States v. Zaslavskiy (Zaslavskiy) rules that cryptocurrency may be covered by US securities laws as they meet the test generally used to determine whether an instrument is an “investment contract” pursuant to US securities laws.

Read Full Article
Jun 26, 2018
SEC Declares Bitcoin and Ether as Non-Securities

On Thursday, June 14, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC)  Director of Corporate Finance, William Hinman (Hinman), announced that the commission would not be treating Ether or Bitcoin as securities. The SEC’s announcement is in line with the recent comments of SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, who recently noted the difference between cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, saying that cryptocurrencies as “replacements for sovereign currencies” were not securities, while digital assets revolving around a venture are often securities.

Read Full Article
CFTC Staff Issues Advisory for Virtual Currency Products

On Monday, May 21, 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight (DMO) and Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) issued a joint staff advisory providing information and guidance relating to the listing of virtual currency derivative products to exchanges and clearinghouses registered with the CFTC. As well, the advisory emphasized the CFTC’s priorities in reviewing new virtual currency derivatives.

Read Full Article
NASAA Announces Initial Results of Operation Cryptosweep

On Monday, May 21, 2018, the North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA) announced a coordinated series of enforcement actions by state and provincial regulators in Canada and the United States to crack down on fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency investment products. To date, “Operation Cryptosweep” has resulted in nearly 70 inquiries and investigations, as well as 35 pending or completed enforcement actions related to ICOs or cryptocurrencies since the beginning of May, including the recent warning issued by the Ontario Securities Commission against five digital currency firms (as described in our recent blog post).

Read Full Article
OSC Issues Warning Against Five Digital Currency Firms

On May 18, 2018 the Ontario Securities Commission (the “OSC”) released an Investor Alert warning investors of five digital currency firms (the “Firms”) that have been identified as targeting Ontario investors and encouraging trades and investments in cryptocurrency. This announcement follows the OSC’s participation in an international initiative called “Operation Cryptosweep” to raise public awareness about ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products, including such unregistered and fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes.

Read Full Article
TMX Group Exchanges Provide Guidance to Crypto and Blockchain Issuers

The TMX Group recently posted a series of short online webinars consisting of informal conversations between TMX staff (Staff) about a variety of topics related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The discussions provided a number of tips and insights for listed issuers and for issuers that might seek to list on TSX or the TSX Venture Exchange (the TSXV). Some of the highlights are set out below.

Read Full Article
Major Technology Companies Restrict Cryptocurrency Advertisements for Consumer Protection

UPDATE: On March 26, 2018, Twitter confirmed the report referenced below and announced that cryptocurrency advertisements would be banned from its website as of March 27, 2018. Further, all ads relating to digital currency, other than public companies listed on major stock exchanges, will be removed from its website.

Read Full Article
Understand Cryptocurrency Risks: BCSC Advises Investment Caution with Cryp Trade

Last month, the British Columbia Securities Commission (the “BCSC” or the “Commission”) published an investment caution for Cryp Trade Holdings SL (“Cryp Trade”). Cryp Trade claims to be located in Spain and also offers an online cryptocurrency platform and cryptocurrency investment portfolios.

Read Full Article
Mar 9, 2018
SEC Releases Public Statement on Registration of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

On March 7, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a public statement addressing the fact that many online trading platforms for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are “potentially unlawful” and should be registered with the SEC.

Read Full Article
Swiss Regulators Set Precedent with Groundbreaking ICO Guidelines

On February 16, 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) released a set of guidelines (the Guidelines) that sets out how it will handle inquiries from organizers of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Building on the principles outlined in FINMA’s guidance released in September, 2017, the Guidelines separate tokens into three categories: (i) payment tokens; (ii) utility tokens; and (iii) asset tokens, all as further described below. Tokens classified into a category will be subject to varying laws and regulations, and as such, FINMA will be taking a holistic approach, on a case by case basis, when assessing the characteristics of a proposed ICO and the associated token. FINMA’s landmark guidance represents a monumental development in the cryptocurrency space.

Read Full Article
Japan Sets its Sights on a Self-Regulating Cryptocurrency Group

United by the goal of providing better safeguards to cryptocurrency investors, sixteen Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges are reportedly joining forces to create a self-regulating cryptocurrency body in Japan.

Read Full Article
Canadian Securities Regulators Sign Fintech Cooperation Agreement with the French Autorité des marchés financiers

The securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan announced on February 8, 2018 a co-operation agreement with the French Autorité des marchés financiers ("French AMF"). The agreement extends the work of the CSA Regulatory Sandbox Initiative and the French AMF FinTech, Innovation and Competitiveness division, and provides an environment for businesses to develop innovative solutions in the financial sector. It is intended to help businesses navigate the regulatory systems in both countries, and monitor market developments to identify and propose ways to address emerging regulatory issues. Collaboration is expected to include information sharing, support for financial innovators, referrals, expertise sharing, secondments, and dialogue on fintech and innovative financial services. While a positive development, the agreement does not come with any changes to the current Canadian regulatory regime for fintech innovators as we are seeing implemented or proposed in other jurisdictions such as Spain, Japan and Switzerland.

Read Full Article
Cryptocurrency: EU Warns While Spain Warms

In a statement released on February 12, 2018, the European Supervisory Authorities ("ESAs") for securities, banking, and insurance and pensions issued a warning to EU consumers outlining the risks involved with buying cryptocurrencies. Despite this warning, only two days later on February 14, 2018, it was reported that the Spanish government is in the process of establishing a comprehensive legal regime to encourage and foster the growth of the cryptocurrency and ICO markets in Spain.

Read Full Article
All Things Fintech: Key Takeaways from the BCSC’s Notice and Request for Comment

On February 14, 2018 the British Columbia Securities Commission (the “BCSC” or the “Commission”) published a notice and request for comment on all things fintech.

Read Full Article
Canadian Tokenized Securities Trading Platform Announced

The Canadian Securities Exchange (“CSE”) announced a proposed securities clearing and settlement platform based on blockchain technology. The platform is intended to enable companies to issue conventional equity and debt through tokenized securities, which would be offered to investors through, what the CSE is calling, “Security Token Offerings” or “STOs”. The CSE expects major benefits to investors and the Canadian financial services community, including real-time clearing and settlement and substantial cost and error reductions compared to conventional clearing services. The CSE intends to file an application with Canadian regulators to recognize the new clearing house, which it will operate. While most ICOs and ITOs have attempted to avoid any regulation under the securities laws of any jurisdiction, STOs will require that issuers “walk in the front door”.  Issuers will submit themselves to full compliance under Canadian securities laws and the rules of the CSE, providing investors with greater transparency, enhanced disclosure, and real protections.

Read Full Article
U.S. Senate Hearing Takes Cautious, Optimistic Tone on Cryptocurrencies

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), met before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs to discuss the future of regulation of cryptocurrencies.

Read Full Article
CSA Members Set Terms and Conditions for Crypto-Based Investment Fund Managers

With the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies over the last 12 months, investors have been looking for ways to enter the market through legitimate, regulated vehicles. Several portfolio and investment fund managers (Managers) have entered the market and are or will offer cryptocurrency funds to qualified purchasers. Given the novel nature of blockchain technology and the associated cryptocurrencies – as compared to traditional asset classes – these funds present unique challenges, particularly with respect to valuation and security of the assets. Accordingly, these Managers have worked with the members of the Canadian Securities Administrators (the CSA) as part of the CSA Regulatory Sandbox initiative to ensure that appropriate measures are implemented to protect investors in this new asset class.

Read Full Article
1 2 Next

Subscribe & Visit

Subscribe to our Mailings Subscribe to our Mailings

Subscribe to our RSS feed Subscribe to our RSS feed

Find out more about Cassels Brock and the Emerging Companies & Technology Group

Visit Us