Canadian bitcoin investors and cryptocurrency traders are going to be subjected to an increased level of market surveillance soon if the government has its way. Once the proposed regulations are implemented, every transaction above $10,000 CAD will have to be reported.
Crypto Exchanges to Report as MSBs
The Department of Finance Canada has issued a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement regarding proposed amendments to the country’s AML/ATF regime. The statement suggests that Canadian crypto exchanges will be treated as money service businesses (MSBs) and will have to report trades over a certain amount.
According to the proposed amendments published in the Canada Gazette, “Persons and entities that are ‘dealing in virtual currency’ would be financial entities or other entities deemed domestic or foreign MSBs, as the case may be. These ‘dealing in’ activities include virtual currency exchange services and value transfer services. As required of all MSBs, persons and entities dealing in virtual currencies would need to implement a full compliance program and register with FINTRAC. In addition, all reporting entities that receive $10,000 or more in virtual currency (e.g. deposits, any form of payment) would have record-keeping and reporting obligations.”
The part about registering with FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) should not be too much of a hassle for the exchanges. Several Canadian exchanges have already taken it upon themselves to voluntarily do so in an effort to remedy regulatory uncertainty, as we recently reported. And the government concluded that compliance with the proposed rules should cost just $270,112 over a ten-year period.
According to the statement, the changes will not be implemented to provide greater clarity to traders and the exchanges who asked for it. Instead they will be to “close loopholes” and address deficiencies in compliance with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the inter-governmental body that sets international benchmarks on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
How should Canadians bitcoin traders respond to this increased level of government market surveillance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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