In 2021 the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission) charged multiple cryptocurrency platforms with not meeting the necessary regulations to operate in Ontario.
The most well-known was Binance, which chose to shut down its operations in the Canadian province. At this time, the Binance Ontario ban is still lin place. If you live in Ontario, Binance is simply not an option as a crypto exchange.
While it’s not uncommon for some regions to prevent lesser-known or unsafe exchange from operating, Ontario’s ban on Binance came as a surprise to many. It is a popular and well-known exchange that operates in many countries around the world.
So what’s with the ban? And why is Binance unwilling to comply with Ontario’s demands? Before we jump into that, let’s take a closer look Binance.
What is Binance?
The reason Ontario’s demand is so surprising is because Binance isn’t some fly-by-night crypto exchange.
Binance ranks among the world’s most well-known platforms and its daily volume exceeds $2 billion. Users have access to hundreds of coins and tokens, along with staking and advanced trading.
Then there’s the platform’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB), which consistently ranks highly compared to other coins by market capitalization. Investors and traders can use the coin to pay less on their fees when buying, selling, and trading.
How Safe is Binance?
Binance is also among the safest exchanges in the crypto industry. For starters, users have to use 2-factor authentication to ensure their accounts are only accessible by authorized parties.
The exchange also recommends that users regularly update their antivirus software, use a VPN when not connected to a trusted network, and turn on anti-phishing capabilities.
However, like any other investment account, you want to make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions to ensure your funds are safe and secure.
Most security experts recommend keeping your funds in a secure wallet unless you’re actively trading.
Why Did the OSC Ban Binance?
In early 2021, the OSC pointed out that multiple cryptocurrency exchanges were not meeting the requirements set forth in its Securities Act. According to the OSC, these platforms were deliberately non-compliant.
In addition to Binance, the OSC named ByBit, KuCoin, and Poloniex as exchanges that failed to meet the necessary regulations.
Not long after the OSC named these exchanges as non-compliant, Binance fired back with its own comments, effectively removing itself from the Ontario market. In its statement, the exchange said,
“As part of our continuing compliance efforts, Binance has updated its Terms of Service to provide that Ontario (Canada) has become a restricted jurisdiction, effective 2021-05-26. Regrettably, Binance can no longer continue to service Ontario-based users.”
That means that if you’re a resident of Ontario, Canada, you are no longer able to use the Binance platform to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies. All residents were required to withdraw their crypto by the end of 2021.
However, there are no restrictions in other parts of Canada, so no other Canadian territories or provinces are impacted by this decision.
Where Else Has Banned Binance?
While Ontario’s decision may have been a shock to some, the platform has been restricted or banned in other markets as well. Here are some of the places in which crypto traders and investors do not have access to Binance:
China – No platforms that focus on cryptocurrency buying, selling, or trading are allowed to operate in China.
Italy – Binance was banned from Italy by the CONSOB (Commissione Nazionale per le Socitea e la Borsa) in 2020.
Japan – The FSA (Financial Services Agency) sent out a statement in June 2021 that Binance was not legally registered to provide services related to crypto buying, selling, or trading in the country of Japan.
Malaysia – Malaysia’s Securities Commission ordered Binance to stop operating within its borders in August 2021.
United Kingdom – In June 2021, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) notified Binance that it was not legally permitted to offer its services in the UK.
United States – The United States has banned Binance.com from operating within its borders. However, those who live in the US have access to Binance.us, which has been approved by the SEC and meets US regulations.
If you reside in Ontario and need some alternative to Binance, here are a few to consider.
Bitbuy consistently ranks among the most popular and reputable exchange in Canada. While they don’t support the long list of coins that Binance offers, you’re likely to find what you want if you buy, sell, and trade the most popular digital assets.
For example, BitBuy supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), and many others. Plus, it’s a great platform for those just starting in the crypto market or experienced investors and traders.
Trading fees are reasonable at 0.1% and you can get started by depositing via bank wire, crypto, or Interac e-Transfer.
Another popular Canadian exchange you can use as a Binance alternative is Wealthsimple.
This platform ranks among the best trading brokerage sites in Canada as it offers crypto, Bitcoin ETFs, and stocks. If you want to keep all your investments in a single site, Wealthsimple might be the exchange for you.
Wealthsimple boasts itself as the “first regulated crypto trading platform in Canada.” Plus, the platform offers instant deposits, which means you can start trading right away. However, at 1%-2%, its trading fees are a little on the expensive side.
The Binance Ontario ban may have come as a surprise to many, but it’s not the first time that a region or market has banned Binance.
It’s not clear what regulations or requirements Binance fails to comply with, but when it comes to Ontario, it would appear the banned is self-inflicted.
Does that mean Binance isn’t safe to use? Not at all. It’s among the safest platforms in the crypto market.
But if you live in or plan to travel to Ontario, it simply won’t be an option when it comes to buying, selling, or trading cryptocurrencies.