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Crypto exchange Bitfinex appears to be closing its Ontario operations

Bitfinex said that effective immediately, it will close accounts of Ontario-based customers that do not have balances.

Toronto, Ontario / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Tue, 18 Jan 2022, 07:39 am UTC

Crypto exchange Bitfinex appears to be closing its operations in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. In an announcement, the company told Ontario-based users to close accounts on or before March 1, 2021.

“Bitfinex is making changes to the Services we provide to Ontario customers,” the crypto platform said in a blog post on Friday. “Some changes are effective immediately, and others will be implemented on March 1, 2022.”

Bitfinex said that effective immediately, it will close accounts of Ontario-based customers that do not have balances. “Ontario customers who do not have open positions in our peer-to-peer financing markets will no longer have access to those markets (e.g., providing funding to margin traders or users of Bitfinex Borrow; and receiving funding for margin trading or using Bitfinex Borrow),” the company added.

The company also removed access to margin-related services for clients that do not have any open positions. “Ontario customers who do not have open margin positions or ‘borrowing’ positions in our peer-to-peer financing markets will no longer have access to open margin positions or engage in ‘borrowing’ (e.g., receiving funding for margin trading or using Bitfinex Borrow),” Bitfinex said.

Bitfinex will cease to offer any service to Ontario-based users by March. To avoid inconvenience, the crypto exchange advised existing clients to withdraw their funds beforehand.

.“Starting on March 1, 2022, Ontario customers will no longer have access to any Services,” the company said. “Any Ontario customers who have open positions in our peer-to-peer financing markets are advised to immediately start exiting those positions in preparation for March 1, 2022.”

Surprisingly, no reason was given for the move. However, there are speculations that it might have something to do with the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) stricter oversight on crypto exchanges operating in the area.

For instance, the OSC recently reprimanded the crypto exchange Binance for sending an email to Ontario-based clients saying that it has been successful in taking its first steps by registering as a Money Services Business with FINTRAC it will continue its operations in Canada. The regulator clarified that the exchange is not registered under the securities law in Ontario.

“Binance has issued a notice to users, without any notification to the OSC, rescinding this commitment,” the OSC said. “This is unacceptable.”

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