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Canadian Provincial Bitcoin Law: It’s All About Protecting the Consumer

Canadian Provincial Bitcoin Law: It’s All About Protecting the Consumer

My name is Matt Burgoyne and I’m an associate at Canadian legal firm McLeod Law. I’m involved with Canadian and international counsel in the developing area of virtual currency law, specifically including bitcoin currency. In this two-part series, I will give a basic primer on the state of Canadian law as it applies to digital currency entrepreneurs.

In the first article I published on Canadian bitcoin law we discussed legislation as it applies at the federal level, where I made the comment that it is at the federal level where most of the ‘action’ lies in respect to Canadian law as it pertains to bitcoin businesses.

This is because in Canada, pursuant to our constitution, currency and coinage, legal tender and other financial activities like banking fall under the exclusive domain of the federal government, and I referred to the piece of legislation that would likely take precedence in bitcoin transactions, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (the “PCTFA”).

FINTRAC is the ‘watchdog’ if you will, enforcing the PCTFA. As a result, most bitcoin businesses operating in Canada would first and foremost want to be sure their activities are compliant with the PCTFA and FINTRAC.

FINTRAC (like FINCEN in the United States) has the power to compel companies to comply with the PCTFA, in some cases in rather costly ways.

In this article on Canadian bitcoin law, I will cover provincial legislation and accompanying regulations pertaining to companies operating in the bitcoin space.

No money transmittal laws

Unlike the legal framework of regulation in the United States, on a province by province level in Canada, bitcoin businesses should not be concerned about licensing requirements as they pertain to money transmitting, since those activities, if and when the federal government so chooses, would likely be governed under the PCTFA.


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This entry was posted on January 18, 2014 by and tagged .

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