Cryptocurrency: the Wild West no more? –

Lawrence E. Ritchie

Jun 28, 2021

Jurisdictions across the globe are exploring the best ways to regulate cryptocurrency transactions as protection against crime. In an interview with Julius Melnitzer of, Osler’s Lawrence Ritchie, chair of the Risk Management and Crisis Response Group, says that in Canada, the challenge lies more in enforcement, information sharing and co-ordination.

“At this stage, we have laws and regulation that are consistent with international approaches,” says Lawrence. “The problem with our system is that it spreads expertise and resources out so widely that there are too many people responsible for too many things – so nobody ends up responsible for anything.”

Canada and the United States are among several nations beefing up their enforcement resources. The Liberals’ 2021 budget included $304.1 million for the Canada Revenue Agency to fund new initiatives and extend existing programs. In the U.S., the Biden administration has proposed an $80 billion infusion for the Internal Revenue Service, much of it aimed at virtual currency transactions.

Regulatory amendments creating new virtual currency obligations for entities subject to Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act came into force on June 1. Provincially, securities regulators are stepping up scrutiny of cryptoasset trading platforms. As well, The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has announced that international crypto reporting standards are coming later this year.

For more information, read author Julius Melnitzer’s full article “Cryptocurrency: the Wild West no more?” on on June 22, 2021.