Canada’s crypto firms can now be recognised as Money Service Businesses

Bitcoin lobbyist Francis Pouliot shares his views on the new amendment

Canada has implemented a legal amendment that will allow cryptocurrency exchanges, payment processors and other cryptocurrency companies to be legally recognised as Money Service Businesses (MSB).  The amendment was enacted on yesterday and requires said entities to register and comply with the regulations of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

The enactment also requires cryptocurrency-based firms to maintain record-keeping, identification and reporting obligations to all transactions exceeding $10,000 CAD ($7403 USD) to Canada’s financial intelligence unit, FINTRAC.

Francis Pouliot, founder of the Canadian crypto company Bull Bitcoin, took to Twitter to express his admiration for the decision: “Today is my last day as an unregulated dealer in virtual currency. As of June 1st 2020, Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors are officially regulated as Money Services Businesses in Canada.” He went on to add that it took more than five years to “agree/negotiate what specific activities are covered and the technicalities of regulation.”

However, the Bitcoin lobbyist was not unequivocal of his praise for the decision. He stated that the obligation to report any transaction over $10,000 CAD stopped the move from being a “decisive victory” for proponents of cryptocurrency. He added that “Bitcoin is money, it should be regulated like other money, no more no less,” while pointing out that no similar rule existed for bank transfers.

Pouliot also explained that the enactment of new regulations will affect Bitcoin businesses involved with cash, such as Bitcoin ATMs. He also assured that Bitcoin companies in Canada are taking the utmost measures to prevent fraudulent transactions by complying with strict KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations, among others.

The amendment was passed in July 2019 to fill some gaps in the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. The amendment stated that “MSBs will now include domestic and foreign businesses that are dealing in virtual currency. These dealing in activities include virtual currency exchange services and value transfer services.”

It also includes a clause to ensure that all persons or entities dealing with cryptocurrency must comply completely with the regulations of the FINTRAC.

Pouliot has spent years working towards the legitimate recognition of cryptocurrencies in Canada. “All things considered; I think this has been a huge success. It’s not perfect but it could have been far worse,”

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