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Ontario Regulators Crack Down on Firms Tied to Crypto Exchange KuCoin

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The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is taking action against cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin for failing to meet relevant securities laws. Ontario is Canada’s most populated province.

Last month, the OSC took action against Polo Digital Assets, Ltd., a Seychelles-based company that operates cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex.

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This time, the regulator has come down on two companies linked with the crypto exchange KuCoin. Each firm reportedly missed the deadline to enter into discussions about bringing the platform into compliance with Ontario securities laws.

On March 29, the OSC warned cryptocurrency companies that they must comply with the province’s securities laws to offer derivatives or securities trading in Ontario. Since then, more than 70 platforms have initiated compliance discussions with the regulator.

According to the OSC, “a process is in place for crypto asset trading platforms to bring their operations into compliance with Ontario securities law.” 

In an announcement released on June 7, the OSC identified the two companies as Mek Global Limited and PhoenixFin Pte Ltd. 

Mek Global is a Seychelles-based business identified as KuCoin in its terms of service, while PhoenixFin Pte is a Singapore-based company that owns the kucoin.com domain.

“KuCoin is operating an unregistered crypto asset trading platform, encouraging Ontarians to use the platform, and allowing Ontario residents to trade crypto asset products that are securities and derivatives,” said the agency in a Statement of Allegations against the two companies.

In its request, the OSC’s enforcement staff wants the Commission to order KuCoin to cease trading securities either permanently or for a period specified by the regulator. 

Both Mek Global and PhoenixFin also face administrative penalties to the tune of up to $CAD 1 million ($827,000) “for each failure to comply with Ontario securities law” and will have to cover the investigation costs.

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