Cryptocurrency and Canadian law – Lexpert TV

Matthew T. Burgoyne

Oct 25, 2022

A continuing focus on payments and securities legislation in Canada could have a potential impact on cryptocurrency companies, says Osler’s Matthew Burgoyne, partner and Co-Chair of the Digital Assets and Blockchain Group, in an interview with Stephanie Matteis of Lexpert TV.

“The federal Retail Payment Activities Act is coming and there are some concepts in that  legislation that might apply to cryptocurrency companies which are offering or performing a retail payment activity,” says Matthew.

“I think more the evolution is going to happen with securities law. We’ve focused in Canada on crypto asset trading platforms for the most part and how securities law applies to those  platforms. So I think what we’re going to see is all of the crypto asset trading platforms or crypto exchanges in Canada be registered soon with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), which is a self-regulatory organization. And so we're going to see a number of crypto exchanges.”

Matthew also sees more enforcement activity coming in the next few years. “This will likely apply to unregistered trading platforms in Canada as well as on token issuers that are doing initial coin offerings on an unregistered basis,” he says. “I think we’re going to see more guidance on how Canadian securities law applies or doesn’t apply to stable coins as well as on fungible tokens. And also hopefully we’re going to see guidance on how the law applies to decentralized finance platforms.”

Compliance costs with securities and anti-money laundering regulation will remain a challenge for crypto companies. “There’s a high cost to comply on an initial basis to become registered under both regulatory regimes,” says Matthew. “And then to stay registered and to stay in compliance can be pretty costly.”

Watch Matthew’s full video interview on