March 14, 2019 / 6:15 PM / 2 months ago

Canada mulls setting rules for crypto platforms

FILE PHOTO: Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. Picture is taken February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) - Canadian regulators are looking to create new rules for crypto trading platforms, months after the death of the founder of digital platform Quadriga CX that led to about C$180 million ($135 million) in frozen cryptocurrencies.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) said bit.ly/2Fffz2V on Thursday they are considering a set of tailored regulatory requirements to address the "novel features and risks" of crypto platforms.

“We must adapt to innovation, and provide clarity to the market about how regulatory requirements might best be tailored and applied to these unique business models, while maintaining investor protection,” IIROC Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kriegler said in a statement.

The Quadriga situation highlighted a regulatory vacuum for the cryptocurrency industry in Canada and raised questions about who would be held accountable for any potential losses. The cryptocurrencies have been frozen in Quadriga’s user accounts since its founder Gerald Cotten, the only person with the password to gain access, died suddenly in December.

Canada’s biggest securities regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission, said in February it was looking into the platform given the “potential harm to Ontario investors”.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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