With the new registration, the exchange would become a Restricted Dealer throughout Canada. It follows the Canadian Securities Administrators’ revised investor protection guidance.
“The PRU will help maintain the integrity of our operations while also assisting all Canadians in achieving financial freedom through crypto,” Kraken wrote in a blog post.
Kraken currently offers CAD spot trading pairs to Canadians and employs 250 Canadians. In February 2023, the CSA implemented enhanced investor protection. A PRU includes improved custody and separation of customer funds under the new regime. Exchanges cannot provide margin or leveraged trading to Canadian investors, nor can they buy or deposit stablecoins.
Following the amendments to the regulations, several Kraken competitors left Canada, including OKX, Blockchain.com, and Deribit.
Kraken recently agreed to pay the U.S. The Securities and Exchange Commission fined the exchange $30 million to settle allegations that it offered its staking product to US customers as an unregistered security. It later stopped offering its crypto asset staking product to customers in the United States.
Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, for example, has criticized the SEC for regulating through enforcement actions rather than providing rules.
The SEC creates rules based on existing securities laws in the United States. It has not yet defined which crypto assets or transactions are considered securities. According to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, existing securities laws such as the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 provide adequate guidance.
In addition to the lawsuit against Kraken, the SEC has issued a Wells Notice to Coinbase. The SEC claimed in the notice that certain crypto assets listed on Coinbase are securities. Last month, the agency issued a notice to stablecoin issuer Paxos, alleging that its BUSD stablecoin is an unregistered security.
U.S. President Joe Biden recently requested $2.4 billion for the SEC, which could spell disaster for the crypto industry.
Gensler confirmed in a prepared testimony on March 29, 2023, that the funding could help the SEC hire additional enforcement staff and limit bad behavior in the crypto industry. He claimed that the majority of the cryptocurrency industry was still in its infancy, prompting the SEC to issue 36% more enforcement actions in 2022 than in 2021.
On April 18, 2023, Gary Gensler will testify before the House Financial Services digital assets subcommittee. He will be asked to explain his approach to rulemaking and digital assets in this context.
In other securities news, the Thai stock exchange recently announced that it would remove restrictions on retail investors purchasing tokens in initial coin offerings.