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Coinbase Bags Canadian Approval Amid Persistent Regulatory Hurdles in US

The US largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, satisfied the high bar requirements for crypto firms that prompted the exit of rival exchanges in 2023. The Brian Armstrong-led crypto exchange revealed in a Wednesday, April 3 announcement that it secured approval from the Canadian authorities. 

Coinbase Bags Canadian Registration

The approval of Coinbase makes it the only foreign crypto exchange registered to run operations in Canada. The crypto firm hailed the approval as critical regulator progress that has proved inevitable in the US. 

Coinbase revealed via an official blog post that it is now a fully registered dealer following the green light from Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). Coinbase filed the pre-registration undertaking nearly a year ago. 

The registration implies that Coinbase satisfies the strict legal criteria by CSA on crypto trading and investment. The requirements range from including compliant stablecoins in pairs to prohibited crypto leverages. 


The failure to meet the requirements enforced by CSA forced Ledn and Kraken to restrict offerings to the Canadians. Binance chose to exit the country contrary to Coinbase, which considers the market critical. 

Coinbase Hails Strong Brand Presence in Canada

The head of Coinbase operations in Canada, Lucas Matheson, illustrated that the country’s population is highly educated and technologically savvy, giving them an in-depth understanding of the digital economy. The firm acknowledged that Canada ranks third in crypto awareness globally.  

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Matheson illustrated Coinbase’s strong brand presence in Canada as a publicly traded entity committed to compliance. 

The Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) considers the resurrected dealer as the umbrella term for entities that fail to neatly fit under the existing categories, including investment, portfolio manager, and mutual fund. CIRO considers restricted dealers to receive requirements and scope limits from the securities regulators customized to the particular firm.  

The ambiguity in crypto firm classification manifests the ongoing debate among regulators and policymakers on categorizing the asset class within the existing laws. The situation necessitates developing new rules to accommodate the crypto firms. 

Coinbase has, in the race to the approval, credited Canada’s regulators for their cooperation and devotion to developing a legal framework encouraging innovation and consumer protection. 

Coinbase confirmed collaborating with several Canadian banks, pension funds, and investment advisors. Doing so constitutes the firm’s effort to illustrate its dedication to facilitating navigation in the evolving digital assets.  

Coinbase Expands to New Markets

Canada adds to the list of markets for which Coinbase has bagged registration. Coinbase secured approval in Italy, France, Netherlands, Singapore, Ireland, and Spain in the past year. 

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Coinbase acknowledges the ongoing legal battle it faces in the US, where the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) classified the majority of crypto securities.  

Coinbase criticism of the US approach arose a week after the judge dismissed its motion challenging the case by the SEC. The judge appeared to back the argument by the securities regulator that crypto fits squarely within the framework courts utilize to identify securities. 

Editorial credit: Iryna Budanova / 

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Stephen Causby

Stephen Causby is an experienced crypto journalist who writes for Tokenhell. He is passionate for coverage in crypto news, blockchain, DeFi, and NFT.

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