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What Canada’s New Regulations Mean for Bitcoin Businesses

What Canada’s New Regulations Mean for Bitcoin Businesses

Late last week, the Parliament of Canada approved Bill C-31, an amendment to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act of 2000 that seeks to bolster the country’s domestic AML policies and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) protections.

Most notably for the bitcoin ecosystem, Bill C-31 will likely apply a broad range of reporting requirements and penalties to the crypto-community through its inclusion of ‘dealers of virtual currency’ in the updated definition of money service business (MSB).

The regulations have potential implications for foreign operators seeking to serve Canada as well, though the biggest impact will be on the domestic ecosystem, which is still striving to come to terms with the new realities potentially applied by the regulatory clarity.

Early signs are that a small number of businesses have already decided to cease operations as a result.

Breathing space

One complication of the bill is that the definition of ‘dealers of virtual currency’, although previously suggested to include bitcoin businesses, is not yet clear.

Non-profit Canadian trade organisation Bitcoin Alliance Canada board member Reed Holmes is one representative of the ecosystem that chose to emphasize this viewpoint, stating:

“The passing reference to virtual currencies in the bill is vague. Many questions still remain unanswered, particularly with respect to what is meant by ‘dealing in virtual currencies.’”


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This entry was posted on June 24, 2014 by and tagged .

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