Bitstamp joins list of crypto exchanges exiting Canada

abdelaziz Fathi

Bitstamp, one of the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry, has revealed its plans to cease operations in Canada starting January 8, 2024, but holds ambitions to return to the Canadian market in the future.


Canadian customers who will continue to trade until this date are advised to take necessary steps to wind down their open trades. Failure to do so will result in the automatic liquidation of open positions in margin products and derivatives. The funds obtained from the liquidation will be made available for withdrawal, the exchange said.

In an official statement, Bobby Zagotta, the CEO of Bitstamp operations in the US and its global chief commercial officer, confirmed the news of ceasing its services for Canadian customers. As a result, all Bitstamp accounts in Canada will be shuttered as early as next year, effectively denying customers access to their accounts within the platform.

Given the impending cessation of services, Bitstamp urged its Canadian user base to withdraw any funds from the platform before January 2024. Additionally, the exchange is recommending that customers proactively deactivate their accounts to avoid any potential complications.

Nevertheless, Zagotta’s statement offers a glimmer of hope, suggesting that Bitstamp aspires to re-enter the Canadian market at a later date. But the specific reasons for the temporary shutdown and the potential timeline for Bitstamp’s return to Canada remain to be detailed.

“We want to emphasize that your crypto assets always remain yours, and we are committed to reaching out to any customers who were unable to close their accounts themselves to ensure the return of their funds,” Bitstamp noted.

The recent move comes as Canada’s financial regulator is rolling out a co-ordinated oversight regime for cryptocurrency activities. Now, all crypto trading platforms seeking registration are obliged to sign undertakings to comply with investor protections.

The new rules will also make it more difficult for retail investors to trade cryptocurrencies using leveraged bets.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) plans to strengthen its oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country. As part of a basket of new registration requirements, crypto applicants will have to agree to tighter rules, including a ban on margin and leverage trading.

Additionally, the proposal prevents crypto providers from accepting payments via credit cards and requires them to keep customer assets segregated from their own operational funds.

These measures also include suggestions that providers should be forced to hold all Canadian clients’ assets “with an appropriate custodian and segregate these assets from the platform’s proprietary business.”

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