The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is looking for experts in all areas of fintech, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and even artificial intelligence, to become members of its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC).

The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on fintech developments including cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and issues faced by new companies in the securities industry. Many cryptocurrencies could fall under the definition of securities and thus under the watch of national and provincial securities regulators, like the OSC, in Canada.

The OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team in Ontario that works with fintech businesses to provide guidance regarding securities regulation as well as working to “keep regulation in step with digital innovation.”

An opportunity to influence cryptocurrency regulation and development

The FAC meets quarterly and as required, and is chaired by the Deputy Director of the OSC LaunchPad, Pat Chaukos. It will have 15 members each serving for one year. Applicants are invited to submit their résumés, detailing their experience, by January 4, 2019.

In order to benefit the space that experience can be in digital platforms like crowdfunding portals and cryptocurrency exchanges, and direct experience with “crypto-assets,” cryptography,  cybersecurity, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology (DLT). The regulator is also looking for candidates with venture capital, financial services, legal or accounting, expertise within the fintech sector as well as compliance and regulatory technology (RegTech) experts. Entrepreneurs, and startup founders, in the space are also welcome.

The OSC likely hopes to encompass the entire range of skills in its choices for the FAC.It is offering a chance for leaders in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space to be hands-on with regulators, potentially influencing new regulation and developments in the industry.

Innovative cryptocurrency regulation is a “key focus” for the OSC for 2018-2019. Its goals is to protect Canadian investors from unscrupulous actors, but also to alleviate some of the regulatory pressure on companies by advising as well as supervising and enforcing.

In June 2018, the Canadian government declared that cryptocurrency businesses would be regulated as Money Services Businesses (MSBs) in order to further protect Canada’s financial infrastructure from money laundering and other illicit activities. Canada was one of the first countries to come forth with regulatory frameworks for the sector, and its securities regulators, like the OSC, have been active in the arena for a number of years.

 

Image credit: Ontario Securities Commission

 

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