CSA publishes guidance on crypto asset trading platforms

CSA publishes guidance on crypto asset trading platforms

Constitutes, maintains or provides a market or facility for bringing together multiple buyers and sellers and their orders for trading in Security Tokens and/or Crypto Contracts; and
Uses established, non-discretionary methods under which such orders will be executed and processed. Marketplace Platforms: Generally, a CTP would be a Marketplace Platform if it: Marketplace Platforms will generally be subject to the requirements applicable to alternative trading systems, such as those set out in National Instrument 21-101 Marketplace Operations.

The Regulators indicate that for a Dealer Platform that only facilitates distributions or the trading of Security Tokens in reliance on prospectus exemptions and does not offer margin or leverage, registration as an exempt market dealer or, in some circumstances, restricted dealer may be required. It only facilitates the primary distribution of Security Tokens; and
Clients do not interact with one another on the CTP.

A Dealer Platform that trades Crypto Contracts, on the other hand, would be expected to be registered in an appropriate dealer category, and where it trades or solicits trades for retail investors that are individuals, it will generally be expected to be registered as an investment dealer and be an IIROC member. Dealer Platforms: The two most common characteristics of a CTP that is a Dealer Platform are that:

The Staff Notice also contains in an appendix the Regulators’ responses to the comments received from industry stakeholders on the Consultation Paper, but does not give much indication on what the long-term regulatory framework may look like (other than, perhaps, the taxonomy of CTPs that is used in the Staff Notice) or an expected timeline. They encourage CTPs to consult with their legal counsel and to contact staff of their local securities regulatory authority on the appropriate steps to comply with securities legislation and IIROC rules. The Regulators acknowledge the continued evolution of fintech businesses and the emergence of a wide variety of CTP models, and note in all cases that exemptive relief may be available and terms and conditions that are tailored to their businesses may be appropriate.

Where a Marketplace Platform also conducts activities similar to those performed by Dealer Platforms, it would also be subject to the appropriate dealer requirements, including dealer registration requirements, discussed above. Additionally, it is contemplated that activities on Marketplace Platforms will be subject to market integrity requirements, such as IIROC’s Universal Market Integrity Rules or similar provisions.

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