Cryptocurrencies are not officially recognized as a means of payment in Canada, but can be used to purchase goods and services online or in stores that accept them.
The government of the country continues to develop regulations applicable to digital currencies, virtual and cryptocurrencies.
It is worth noting that it was one of the first countries to approve the regulation of cryptocurrency service providers, primarily regulating them in accordance with Securities Laws as money service enterprises (MSBs). If you want to get a cryptocurrency license in Canada, this material may be useful to you. We will analyze the regulation and describe whether it is possible to obtain a cryptocurrency license in Canada.
Obtaining a Canadian Cryptocurrency License: regulation
The use of cryptocurrencies in Canada is not prohibited, but at the same time, there is no direct regulation of cryptocurrency activities in Canada. In the country, this area is regulated by three main regulatory legal acts:
AML/CFT Law (PCMLTFA Law)
According to the local AML/CFT Law, enterprises that work with cryptocurrency can be classified as money service enterprises (MSBs). Its provisions will also apply to crypto exchanges operating outside the jurisdiction that provide their services to both private and corporate entities in Canada.
On August 24, 2017, the Canadian Securities Authority (CSA) published the CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offers, which describes how the requirements of securities legislation may apply to:
- initial coin offerings (ICO);
- initial token offerings (ITO);
- registration of a cryptocurrency investment fund in Canada;
- registration of a cryptocurrency exchange in Canada, as well as obtaining a license to exchange cryptocurrencies in Canada.
Virtual currencies may be subject not only to federal laws, but also to Canadian provincial securities Laws to the extent that virtual currency is considered a security.
Blockchain project from the Bank of Canada (Bank of Canada’s Blockchain Project)
This project aims to understand how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can improve the payment system. Some provisions are aimed at regulating international payments, where DLT technology is involved.
All these regulations must be taken into account if you intend to obtain a crypto license in Canada or conduct an ICO in Canada.
Obtaining a license for a cryptocurrency exchange in Canada: regulation
Crypto exchanges in the country are regulated in the same way as enterprises providing monetary services, and they are subject to the same due diligence, accounting, verification and reporting obligations as MSBs working with fiat currencies. After amendments to the Canadian AML/CFT Law (approved in July 2019), all cryptocurrency exchanges must register with FinTRAC.
Taxation of cryptocurrencies in Canada
Digital currencies in the country may be subject to the Income Tax Act (ITA). Federal rate: from 15% to 33% depending on the amount of annual income. It is also worth considering the tax rate of the province where the cryptocurrency activity will be carried out.
Trading in cryptocurrencies under Canadian law is considered as trading in goods. Thus, according to the Financial Services Consumer Protection Agency (CRA), when filing a tax return, individuals who trade cryptocurrencies must report any profit or loss from the sale or purchase of digital currencies in their declaration.
If you are mining cryptocurrencies in Canada, then the income from such activities must be reflected in the tax return.