Service

Digital Assets and Blockchain

Distributed ledger technologies including blockchain and other digital assets are reshaping the global business landscape and the potential of crypto assets is being felt across many sectors, ranging from financial services, capital markets, real estate, intellectual property, corporate transactions and much more.

Investor interest in digital assets has also risen dramatically as Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have emerged as an alternative asset class delivering extraordinary returns over the last decade. Recent developments, such as increased institutional participation, approval of the first publicly traded ETFs by Canadian securities regulators, and the popularity of stablecoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) signals continued positive momentum for the sector.

While opportunities in this space are limitless, the risks are complex and constantly changing, even for well-established “cryptonatives”. Participants must navigate complex and evolving rules and regulations in Canada, which can be particularly challenging as the fast-paced nature of the digital asset landscape is outpacing the corresponding regulatory frameworks.

Having experienced legal counsel with a finger on the pulse of the digital asset ecosystem is crucial to navigating this evolving space.

Osler’s Digital Assets and Blockchain team advises early-stage and established digital asset clients, including trading and lending platforms, investment managers, software developers and institutional investors in the Canadian digital asset markets.

The regulatory treatment of crypto assets is also evolving, and we leverage our extensive network of industry experts, participation in industry associations and positive working relationships with governmental authorities to advocate for you and guide you on how to create, trade, hold and manage crypto assets in a manner that aligns with applicable law and current regulatory interpretations. We also advise on enforcement actions that can result from regulatory uncertainty. In the event that disputes arise, Osler’s leading litigation team has expertise in digital asset issues to assist clients in resolving contentious matters.

Our multidisciplinary team of experts is well-equipped to answer your questions surrounding the legal impacts of this technology and other digital assets. In particular, Osler advises market participants on:

  • Cryptocurrency trading and investing
  • Regulation of virtual currency dealers and crypto asset trading platforms
  • Tokenized business models
  • Cryptocurrency derivatives and related financial instruments
  • Deployment of blockchain technology
  • Enforcement investigations and proceedings and litigation

The depth of our advice and service draws on a multidisciplinary approach across Osler teams. Clients can access our extensive experience in FinTech, Emerging & High Growth Companies, Securities Regulatory, Financial Services Regulatory, Commercial/Technology, Litigation, Tax and Privacy.

Key Contacts

Co-Chair

Matthew T. Burgoyne

Partner, Corporate, Calgary

Co-Chair

Laure Fouin

Partner, Corporate, Montréal


Representative Work


Latest Insights

  • Osler Update Dec 11, 2023

    Digital assets and blockchain: the year of maturation

    In years past, a series of industry failures and a lack of regulatory certainty threatened to chill the digital asset space. In 2023, the story change...

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    Digital assets and blockchain: the year of maturation
  • Webinar May 2, 2024

    Use of artificial intelligence (AI) in infrastructure projects

    Participants will gain valuable insights into the fast-evolving use of AI in the design, management, monitoring and maintenance of infrastructure proj...

    Read more
    Use of artificial intelligence (AI) in infrastructure projects
  • Blog Apr 22, 2024

    Extension and clarifications on the regulation of value-referenced cryptoassets

    On April 17, 2024, the Canadian Securities Administrators announced an extension for crypto trading platforms dealing with value-referenced cryptoasse...

    Read more
    Extension and clarifications on the regulation of value-referenced cryptoassets
  • Blog Mar 18, 2024

    The stigma associated with crypto is largely unwarranted

    A struggle to fit cryptocurrency into existing regulatory regimes has contributed to some public perception that crypto is disproportionately used in ...

    Read more
    The stigma associated with crypto is largely unwarranted
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Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers Fintech: Canada’s Leading Lawyers in Fintech (Band 1)

In the Media

  • Media Mentions Mar 4, 2024

    Laure Fouin talks about FTX’s collapse and how Canadian regulators safeguard crypto assets – McGill Law Journal podcast

    The McGill Law Journal podcast invited Laure Fouin, partner, Corporate and Co-Chair of the Digital Assets and Blockchain Group, to address that issue,...

    Read more
  • Media Mentions Jan 18, 2024

    Edmonton man and his cryptocurrency company sanctioned for breaching Alberta securities laws – CBC News

    In a conversation with CBC News, Matthew Burgoyne commented on a recent Alberta Securities Commission decision which ordered Devon Christopher Edwards...

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  • Media Mentions Dec 1, 2023

    Bitcoin ETF’s 60% surge in Canada signals what’s coming in the U.S. – DL News

    Bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETF) have been approved in Canada since 2021 while the U.S. is still considering the approval of similar products. Laur...

    Read more
  • Media Mentions Nov 3, 2023

    Two years after peak crypto, Bitcoin has faded from the political conversation – CBC News

    A couple of years ago, both politicians and the general public were wondering how cryptocurrency could be regulated and integrated into the financial ...

    Read more
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