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Canadian Regulator Penalizes KuCoin and Bybit for Violating Securities Laws

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The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) took enforcement action against the KuCoin and Bybit cryptocurrency exchanges because both companies acted in violation of local securities laws.

Bybit will stop accepting new users from Ontario

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According to official press release On Wednesday (June 22, 2022), the OSC reported that KuCoin and Bybit operate an unregistered cryptocurrency trading platform. The regulator added that the exchanges sold securities to residents of Ontario, bypassing the proper channel.

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OSC Director of Enforcement Jeff Kehoe said in a statement:

“Foreign crypto asset trading platforms that want to operate in Ontario must play by the rules or face enforcement action. The results announced today should be a clear indication that we refuse to tolerate non-compliance with Ontario’s securities laws.”

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The Canadian watchdog said Bybit cooperated with the authorities after the enforcement action, provided the necessary information and is working on registering the company. Bybit also reached an agreement with OSC for a $2,468,910 disgorgement payment and another $10,000 CAD ($7,711).

Meanwhile, the crypto firm is not accepting new accounts for Ontarians, is not offering new products for checking accounts held by Ontario investors, and is not running any marketing activities targeted at residents of the province.


Bybit’s punishment comes days after the firm said it was cutting its workforce following similar moves by Coinbase, BlockFi and CryptoCom. A representative of the cryptocurrency exchange said:

“Companies around the world have been hit with the onset of the bear market, and many of them have needed massive cost-cutting measures. Bybit is no exception, except for the fact that we have taken extreme measures to keep our workforce alive for as long as possible during this crisis.”

KuCoin gets a permanent ban

Seychelles-based KuCoin, on the other hand, did not cooperate with the investigation, according to the OSC. Consequently, the cryptocurrency exchange is permanently banned from participating in the Ontario capital markets.

In addition to the ban, KuCoin was fined a C$2 million administrative fine and another $96,550 for the costs of the OSC investigation.

The Canadian watchdog said back in March 2021 that crypto exchanges operating in Ontario must contact the securities regulator or face enforcement action, with a deadline of April 19, 2021.

Later, in May 2021, OSC accused Poloniex of violating the law and fined the exchange 1 million Canadian dollars.

Featured image courtesy of The Globe and Mail

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