Crypto exchange OKEx has announced that it will be shutting down its operations in Canada by mid-2023. The move comes as the company seeks to streamline its global business operations and refocus on its core markets. OKEx has assured its Canadian customers that all funds will be safe and that they will be provided with ample time to withdraw their assets before the shut down. The decision to exit the Canadian market is expected to have little impact on the company’s overall business, as Canada represents only a small fraction of its global trading volume.
OKX to Cease Operations in Canada Due to Regulatory Issues
Cryptocurrency exchange OKX has announced that it will shut down its operations in Canada by mid-2023. The company has informed its users in Canada that they have until June 22 to withdraw their cryptocurrencies and fiat from the exchange. OKX has stated that withdrawals will remain open until this deadline, and users must transfer their assets to other crypto wallets or linked bank accounts. According to the email sent to users in Canada, they will be able to withdraw dollars to their linked bank account and cryptocurrencies to their self-custody wallet or their cryptocurrency account on another exchange.
OKX is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges globally, ranking 8th by market cap according to Coinmarketcap data. It is registered in Seychelles and headquartered in Malta. However, the company has recently decided to shut down its operations in Canada due to new regulations. It is working with regulators to resolve the issues that led to this decision, but the company has not been specific regarding which rules caused the shutdown or at what stage the regulatory process is.
All crypto exchanges are currently required to register with Canadian regulators before onboarding users in the country. Failing to do so has led to significant fines for some exchanges. In 2022, Bybit and KuCoin were fined by Canadian regulators. Recently, the Canadian Securities Administrators issued a notice requiring all crypto exchanges awaiting registration to sign legally binding undertakings to enhance investor protection. These undertakings include a prohibition on allowing users to purchase and transfer stablecoins without prior regulatory consent.
As of Jan. 18, none of the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges by market cap are fully authorized to operate in Canada. Meanwhile, only KuCoin and Poloniex are banned from operating in the country.
In conclusion, regulatory issues have led OKX to decide to end its operations in Canada temporarily. The company has not specified the rules that caused the decision or what stage the regulatory process is at, but it is working with regulators to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, Canadian regulators are continuing to restrict unregistered exchanges from operating in the country. Therefore, users of these exchanges need to monitor the regulatory landscape closely to avoid any inconvenience in the future.