Coinbase Expands Abroad with Canadian License amid SEC Crackdown

Roman Janson Follow Apr 04, 2024 · 2 mins read
Coinbase Expands Abroad with Canadian License amid SEC Crackdown
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As reported by CNBC, Coinbase has received an important regulatory approval in Canada that will allow it to expand its international operations. According to the article, Coinbase has been granted registration as a restricted dealer under the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the umbrella organization for Canadian securities regulators.

This authorization means Coinbase meets Canada’s strict requirements for crypto asset dealings and can now operate legally in the country. As Ryan Browne outlines, Canada introduced new guidelines in 2021 limiting certain crypto investments and requiring mandatory registrations. This led major exchange Binance to exit Canada, deeming compliance untenable.

Coinbase had filed a pre-registration undertaking with the Ontario Securities Commission in March 2023 and officially launched in Canada last August. Coinbase Country Director Lucas Matheson notes they are the first international crypto exchange to receive the restricted dealer registration. Matheson credits over three years of work with Canadian regulators, specifically the last 12 months obtaining this compliance status.

Importantly, Matheson views Canada’s regulatory environment as more accommodating than the U.S., where Coinbase faces a major lawsuit from the SEC over securities laws. In contrast, Canada launched the world’s first bitcoin ETF years before the U.S. Coinbase now sees a sizable market opportunity in Canada, with an educated, tech-savvy population of millions that could access the digital economy through their platform.

Coinbase has a technology hub in Canada with nearly 200 employees. Securing the license positions them well as the largest registered crypto exchange to serve Canadian customers. Matheson believes Coinbase’s reputation as a publicly traded, compliant company committed to registration will aid international expansion.

This move marks progress in Coinbase’s “Go Broad, Go Deep” strategy to hire local leaders and obtain licenses worldwide. It indicates resilience expanding abroad amid challenges at home from regulators. Coinbase has also received approvals in Europe and selected Ireland as its EU base to leverage new crypto rules.

While the SEC crackdown presents headwinds, Coinbase’s Canadian license demonstrates an ability to navigate varied international regulations. As the article concludes, it highlights Coinbase’s global charm offensive and regulatory compliance focus paying dividends overseas. With a compliant platform in a sizable new market, Coinbase takes another step forward internationally.

Image Credit: Conor Samuel

Written by Roman Janson Follow
Senior News Editor at