OKX is closing doors for its customers in Canada.
On March 20th, the world’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, OKX, announced the decision to halt service to Canadian users due to stringent regulatory directives.
In a recent email sent to its users, OKX announced that it would cease offering its cryptocurrency trading services to residents of Canada by June 22nd.
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On February 22nd, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a notice requiring crypto exchanges operating within the Canadian jurisdiction to sign new undertakings while they await a new regulatory framework.
Among the list of things outlined in the new undertaking, the CSA currently prohibits “buying or depositing Value Referenced Crypto Assets (or stablecoins) through smart contracts without its prior written consent of the CSA.”
Citing the new regulations, the OKX stated that it “will no longer provide services or allow users to open new accounts in Canada starting on Mar. 24, 2023, 12:00 AM EST.”
However, the company quieted the fears of customers who initially panicked that their funds could be frozen. In the email sent to its customers, OKX stated:
Your funds will remain safe in your account until you withdraw them. You will be able to withdraw dollars to your linked bank account and cryptocurrency to yourself-custody wallet or your cryptocurrency account on another exchange.
According to the email, OKX intends to halt its Canadian operations in phases over the next three months. The statement sent to customers reads:
All existing Canadian customers must close open options, margins, perpetual and futures positions by June 22nd, 2023. Fiat or tokens must also be withdrawn by that date.
Despite the abrupt nature of the announcement, OKX noted that it would work with regulators to resume operations in Canada in the future.
It is not the first time Canada has taken a strict stance against crypto-related firms. In June 2022, Ontario Securities Commission slammed cryptocurrency exchanges KuCoin and ByBit, with millions of dollars in fines after it was determined that both were operating as “non-compliant platforms."