Canada securities regulators warn cryptocurrency platforms about marketing tactics News
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Canada securities regulators warn cryptocurrency platforms about marketing tactics

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), in collaboration with the Investment Industry Organization of Canada (IIROC), published guidance Thursday to assist crypto trading platforms in meeting their marketing, advertising, and social media compliances under securities law and IIROC rules.

The move came after regulators observed a recent surge in marketing campaigns by crypto trading platforms. This prompted the CSA and the IIROC to raise concerns over the use of “gambling-style promotions” that may entice retail investors to engage in excessive and risky trading. IIROC President and CEO Andrew Kriegler said: “[C]rypto trading platforms should consider their advertising and marketing strategies in the context of their obligations to treat fairly and honestly.”

The new guidelines are for crypto trading platforms that are already registered and those which are seeking registration. They also give guidance on statements in advertising and marketing material that might be considered false or misleading. Further, the guidelines address the concerns about gambling-style contests, promotions and schemes designed to promote risky trading by specifying that using such tactics may violate the trading platforms’ good faith obligations under the existing law.

Moreover, the guidance explains the regulatory and supervisory compliances for companies that use social media. It further states that as part of the registration review process of trading platforms, the CSA may examine trading platforms’ advertising and marketing strategies.

CSA Chair Louis Morisset said: “[N]ot respecting the requirements under the securities law and IIROC rules may raise concerns about a crypto trading platform’s fitness for registration.”