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The Ontario Securities Commission Calls Innovative Digital Currency Regulation a “Key Focus” for 2018-2019


Canada’s digital currency industry currently operates without much regulatory certainty, as the country’s regulatory bodies are yet to enact clear rules for companies and investors operating in the space. Now, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced plans to create digital currency regulations that won’t prevent innovation, calling it a focus for the upcoming financial year.  

The OSC aims to protect investors and aid businesses

In a recent publication from the OSC, the commission stated that it will champion investor protection in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. In order to protect investors and alleviate responsibility for businesses, digital currency regulation will be a “key focus” for the commission in the year ahead.

“The OSC will continue to foster new ways to raise capital and invest, while focusing on potential investor protection issues arising from cryptocurrency and blockchain-related developments,” the commission stated. “Additionally, the OSC will pursue initiatives to address regulatory burden for public companies and investment funds.”

The commission stated that blockchain-related regulation will move into the next “phase of work,” and aligns with its overall regulatory goals. The OSC elaborated that these goals include its aim to protect investors, deliver effective compliance, supervision and enforcement, and to be an innovative, accountable and efficient organization.

How the OSC could help – not harm – blockchain innovation

The OSC assures the public that its upcoming regulatory decisions will not impede innovation, saying that protecting innovation is one of its regulatory goals. Instead of stopping innovative projects, the OSC aims to find a balance between allowing blockchain innovation and protecting investors from bad actors in the space.

Further, the OSC stated its intent to lighten the regulatory burden for both companies and investors. If this is the case, regulation could be a needed remedy for the current digital currency landscape.  

Earlier in 2018, Leadweb CEO Louis Cleroux spoke with Coinsquare News about how Canada could overcome current obstacles to become a global blockchain leader. As the CEO of a Montréal-based emerging technologies company, Cleroux expressed frustration at the lack of clear regulation for companies working in the digital currency industry.

“We have no law, no structures, nothing to base ourselves on,” he said, referring to the lack of regulatory clarity available to Canadian blockchain businesses.

Pushing other regulatory bodies on the issue

With the OSC now looking to foster digital currency innovation and protect investors, regulatory bodies across Canada could follow suit.

“We are pursuing an ambitious regulatory agenda that is responsive to our evolving capital markets,” said Maureen Jensen, Chair and CEO of the OSC. “We will continue to support fintech innovation, advance measures to better protect investors, and initiate projects to lighten the regulatory load for businesses.”

Elsewhere, G20 recently brought together central bank authorities to discuss appropriate measures for digital currency regulation, calling for suggestions by July of this year.


Image credit: OSC logo


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