Crypto Trading Platforms: Regulation and Enforcement Actions

Crypto assets are high-risk investments. Canadians considering buying or selling crypto assets, despite all known risks, should use platforms registered with Canadian securities regulators, and should avoid using platforms banned by Canadian securities regulators. Platforms that do not comply with Canadian securities laws present significant risks to customers because investors’ assets may not be adequately safeguarded.

Crypto assets, regardless of the platform you use, are a very risky investment.
Learn about the risks before you invest.

Registration of crypto trading platforms

To comply with Canadian securities laws, crypto trading platforms1 – which sometimes call themselves “crypto exchanges” – must be regulated by a Canadian securities regulator. This means these platforms must register with provincial or territorial securities regulators and abide by certain conditions to help protect investors, including:

  • Implementing controls to protect crypto assets and funds
  • Managing the risks arising from their business, including cybersecurity protections
  • Limiting the types of crypto assets traded
  • Meeting their obligations to clients, including an obligation to deliver crypto assets or cash, upon a client’s request
  • Providing sufficient information to clients.

Platforms located outside of Canada that provide services to Canadians must also be registered in Canada.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) recommends that Canadians considering buying or selling crypto assets use platforms that have been registered by CSA members, which can be found here.

Banned crypto asset trading platforms

CSA members may take action if a crypto trading platform is doing business with, or soliciting business from, Canadians without being properly regulated.

The list of crypto trading platforms that have been banned in one or more Canadian jurisdiction can be found here. The CSA strongly urges Canadians to avoid using such platforms.

Crypto asset trading platforms seeking registration

The work of bringing crypto trading platforms into compliance with Canadian securities laws is ongoing. Platforms that are currently in operation and in discussions with Canadian securities regulators must sign a pre-registration undertaking to continue operations while their application is reviewed. Through these undertakings, crypto trading platforms that have not yet obtained registration agree to comply with terms and conditions that address investor protection concerns and are consistent with requirements currently applicable to registered platforms.

The list of platforms that have filed such undertakings can be found here. CSA members may take action against a platform that is seeking registration but has not signed an undertaking, or does not abide by the terms of an undertaking.

Additional information

More information about Canadian securities regulators’ expectations for crypto trading platforms can be found in a joint staff notice from the CSA and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Crypto Trading Platforms Authorized to Do Business with Canadians

Crypto Trading Platforms That Have Filed Pre-Registration Undertakings

Banned Crypto Trading Platforms

[1]   “Crypto trading platforms” for the purposes of this web page are those referenced in joint Canadian Securities Administrators/Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Staff Notice 21-329, Guidance for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms: Compliance with Regulatory Requirements.