BitMEX Restricts Ontario Users to Comply With OSC Regulations


BitMEX crypto exchange will be restricting access to users from Ontario, Canada, next month to comply with OSC regulations.

August 25, 2020 | AtoZ MarketsBitMEX, a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform that offers up to 100x leverage, announced Monday that it will be restricting access to residents of Ontario, Canada.

Where is BitMEX allowed to offer its services in Canada?

Starting Sept. 1, “we are restricting access to users who are Ontario (Canada) residents,” the exchange wrote in blog. Affected users will be unable to place orders for new positions or to increase existing positions. Open positions will continue in accordance with the company’s terms for the relevant contract. However, users must close existing open positions by January 4, 2021, or else the exchange will force-close them.

New customers who are Ontario residents will not be able to register on the platform after Sept. 1. Any attempt to register or trade on the exchange after that date will be a breach of the company’s terms of service. According to BitMEX, the restrictions have been “mandated” by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which “recently clarified the application of its regulatory regime to cryptocurrencies.”

Moreover, an OSC representative explains that BitMEX does not have the authorization to offer its services in Ontario. The spokesperson said:

BitMEX is not registered or recognized in any capacity in Ontario.”

However, the exchange says it will continue to work with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and will keep its users updated. Notably, Ontario is not the only Canadian province that restricts BitMEX. According to BitMEX’s terms of service, citizens and residents of Québec are barred from accessing the platform.

However, a BitMEX spokesperson confirmed to AtoZ Markets that the restrictions apply only to Ontario and Québec, and not the rest of Canada.

OSC remains active in the crypto space

The OSC has been active in the crypto space. In late July, the regulator gave asset manager 3iq Corp. a preliminary approval for the initial public offering (IPO) of the company’s Ether Fund.

The regulator previously approved the IPO of 3iq’s Bitcoin Fund. Last month, it started a proceeding against cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare and its executives for market manipulation and wash trades worth 590K BTC, among other charges. It also recently evaluated the defunct cryptocurrency exchange Quadrigacx, concluding that it “operated like a Ponzi scheme.”

The Canadian Securities Administrators, a council of the regulatory bodies of Canada’s provinces and territories, published guidance in January that subjects Canadian crypto exchanges to securities laws.

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