Statement on Undertaking Given by Binance
For Immediate Release OSC Enforcement
TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today published an undertaking given by Binance Holdings Limited and Binance Canada Capital Markets Inc. (together, Binance), which holds these entities accountable for taking steps to address concerns arising from recent events.
In 2021, Binance publicly announced its intention to withdraw its services from Ontario. However, on December 29, 2021, Binance falsely notified investors that it was allowed to continue its operations in Ontario. These events resulted in the OSC issuing an announcement on December 30, 2021 to confirm that no entity in the Binance group of companies holds any form of securities registration in Ontario. This continues to be the case.
Further, Binance subsequently confirmed to OSC Staff and advised Ontario investors that trading restrictions were in place for Ontario accounts on the Binance platform, whereas at the time Ontario investors were in fact able to continue to trade.
In the undertaking, Binance confirms that activities involving Ontario residents have ceased, apart from certain permitted actions to protect investors. Additionally, Binance commits that it will continue to prevent any activities involving Ontario residents, apart from these permitted actions, and to provide fee waivers and offer fee reimbursements to certain Ontario users. Binance undertakes to maintain these restrictions until further notice to Binance by the OSC.
This undertaking represents a legally enforceable commitment by Binance to the OSC. The OSC reserves the right to take enforcement action against Binance for any past, present or future breaches of Ontario securities law not arising from the events described in the undertaking.
On March 29, 2021, the OSC communicated to crypto asset trading platforms that they must contact Staff to initiate the registration process, or face enforcement action. The OSC continues to work with firms (for which it is Principal Regulator) that initiated compliance discussions with Staff to assess the appropriate path to registration in Ontario.
To date, six crypto asset trading platforms are registered in Ontario. These platforms are listed on the Registered Crypto Asset Trading Platforms page on the OSC’s website.
Investors are encouraged to check the registration of any person or business trying to sell investments or offer investment advice. This can be done by visiting the Check Before You Invest or the Registered Crypto Asset Trading Platforms pages on the OSC website. Investors can also sign up for email notifications when new warnings and alerts are issued and can follow the OSC’s Twitter feed at @OSC_News.
The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair, efficient and competitive capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, to foster capital formation, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.ca.
– 30 –