Bitbuy and Coinsquare, prominent Canadian crypto exchanges, have collectively surpassed $1 billion CAD in client assets. This milestone, announced on Dec. 6 by parent company WonderFi, represents significant growth from the $695 million CAD recorded in the third quarter. The increase in assets underlines the exchanges’ expanding influence in the Canadian cryptocurrency market.
The announcement details a noticeable increase in user engagement on these platforms. In November, there was a 16% rise in monthly active users compared to October. Additionally, the platforms witnessed a 54% surge in total trading volume, indicating heightened user trading activity.
Canadian Crypto Exchanges Embrace Regulatory Compliance
Bitbuy and Coinsquare have made notable strides in regulatory compliance, a crucial aspect for Canadian crypto exchanges. In November 2021, Bitbuy achieved a landmark by becoming fully regulated after obtaining a license from the Ontario Securities Commission. Following suit, Coinsquare obtained broker-dealer status from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) in October 2022.
July 2023 marked a significant development for these exchanges with their merger with WonderFi, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform. This strategic move, backed by Canadian businessman Kevin O’Leary, amalgamated a user base of 1.6 million Canadians across all subsidiaries. This merger reflects the growing consolidation trend in the cryptocurrency industry, particularly in Canada.
In the third quarter of 2023, WonderFi reported a combined revenue of $9.9 million CAD. The company also announced that it became cash-flow positive in October, showcasing its financial stability amidst the fluctuating crypto market.
Canadian Regulation Spurs Crypto Market Changes
The regulatory environment in Canada has been evolving rapidly, especially concerning Canadian crypto exchanges. Canadian regulators now mandate that all crypto exchanges operating within the country be registered or sign a legally binding undertaking while awaiting licensing. This move aims to enhance the security and reliability of cryptocurrency transactions in Canada.
Prominent offshore exchanges like Binance, ByBit, and OKX have halted their operations in Canada in response to these regulations. Furthermore, Canadian regulators started requiring crypto exchanges to delist unapproved stablecoins, except USD Coin, in February. This led to platforms like Kraken and Coinbase delisting Tether and other stablecoins for Canadian users.
This regulatory shift aims to protect investors and maintain the financial system’s integrity. Given their compliance with these stringent regulations, Canadian crypto exchanges are in a unique position to lead the market.
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