Canada’s Regulators Might Help Crypto Exchange QuadrigaCX’s Victims After All

Provincial securities regulators in British Columbia, Canada, won’t be investigating the QuadrigaCX scandal. However, new developments could see Canada’s largest securities body, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), begin an investigation.

On Friday, according to Reuters, the OSC has confirmed in a statement it will be looking into cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, where currently $190 million in cryptocurrency has been lost. Though an OSC spokesperson did not confirm if the regulator will conduct a formal investigation, it said:

“Given the potential harm to Ontario investors, we are looking into this matter.”

The OSC’s role, as the Ontario provincial arm of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is to protect regional investors. In its “2018-2019 Statement of Priorities,” the body committed to “innovative regulation” of cryptocurrencies and actively encourages fintech start-ups in the province.

Canada has yet to beef up crypto regulation and add a more comprehensive legislative framework for the sector. But it has also taken action against illicit ICO offerings and the OSC may well decide to pursue QuadrigaCX further.

Allan Goodman, co-chair of a technology group at Goodmans LLP believes the OSC would first check if QuadrigaCX has breached securities laws in Canada. He stated:

“For example, should (Quadriga) have been registered as an exchange and were any securities laws breached with respect to the trading of the coins on the exchange?”

Earlier, the British Colombia Securities Commission (BCSC) said QuadrigaCX was outside of its jurisdiction. It will take no action to benefit those affected.

A BCSC spokesperson told Bloomberg in an email:

“[BCSC] does not currently have any indication that Quadriga CX, the crypto asset trading platform, was trading in securities or derivatives or operated as a marketplace or exchange under British Columbia securities laws.”

QuadrigaCX – An Elaborate Scam or an Unprecedented, Unexpected, Scenario?

The QuadrigaCX scandal is unprecedented. Its founder Gerald Cotten, reportedly the only person with access to QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency cold storage died suddenly in India. There were no protocols in place to allow another QuadrigaCX employee access and now no one can reach the $190 million belonging to QuadrigaCX users.

There is ongoing speculation about whether Cotton is really dead. Or if this could be some elaborate scam, as well as if QuadrigaCX really held cryptocurrency balances in cold storage.

One user, Ethan Lou, with $2,000 invested in the platform and who met with Cotten in 2014, writing for the Toronto Star says:

“Cotten’s death in India is suspicious. Vancouver’s Quadriga had been having cash-flow problems for months. Twelve days before Cotten’s death, the man made a detailed will, including money for his Chihuahua dogs — how did he neglect his laptop password?”

Last Tuesday, a judge gave QuadrigaCX a 30 day stay on claims from creditors and potential lawsuits while the exchange continues to try to gain access to Cotton’s laptop and the millions in lost cryptocurrency.


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Author: Melanie Kramer 
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Canada Encourages Cannabis Sector to Transact Discreetly

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has published a document advising Canadian citizens to use cash to conduct transactions pertaining to cannabis in order to protect personal information. In response to the guidance, Etoro market analyst Mati Greenspan has predicted the liberalization of Canada’s cannabis sector will bolster local privacy coin adoption.

Canadian Government Advises Consumers to Consider Privacy When Purchasing Cannabis

Canada Encourages Cannabis Sector to Use Cash, Analyst Predicts Privacy Coin AdoptionThe office of the Canadian Privacy Commissioner has published a “guidance document” seeking to warn cannabis users of privacy concerns pertaining to transactions related to marijuana.

The document, titled “Protecting personal information: Cannabis transactions,” emphasizes that “Cannabis is illegal in most jurisdictions outside of Canada,” and as such, the personal information of cannabis users should be treated as “very sensitive.”

For example, the privacy commissioner highlights concerns that “some countries may deny entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully.”

Cannabis Retailers Urged to Recognize Sensitivity of Customers’ Data

Canada Encourages Cannabis Sector to Use Cash, Analyst Predicts Privacy Coin AdoptionThe commissioner pressures cannabis retailers to ensure that “adequate physical, technological, and organizational security measures are in place to safeguard personal information,” emphasizing that security processes “must recognize and respond to the sensitivity of this information.”

Where possible, the commissioner asks that retailers collect “the least amount of personal information” and “refrain from recording personal information” in order to minimize the impact from potential data breaches.

The document also recommends that retailers collect email addresses rather than names and addresses for mailing lists or memberships, and “only use video surveillance as a last resort.”

Privacy Commissioner Encourages Cannabis Consumers to Purchase With Cash

Canada Encourages Cannabis Sector to Use Cash, Analyst Predicts Privacy Coin AdoptionThe commissioner emphasizes that cannabis purchasers take care not to provide more personal information that is necessary to retailers, noting that consumers may be required to show identification in order to verify age.

The guidelines also recommend that consumers ask retailers whether personal information is stored on servers located in Canada or overseas, encouraging consumers to only trade with retailers that host information in Canada.

The privacy commissioner also advises that consumers avoid conducting transactions using credit cards as such involve the collection of the credit card number and cardholder’s name. Instead, the commissioner encourages Canadians to consider using cash to conduct cannabis-related purchases.

Etoro Analyst Predicts Boost to Privacy Coin Adoption

Canada Encourages Cannabis Sector to Use Cash, Analyst Predicts Privacy Coin AdoptionMati Greenspan, a market analyst for Etoro, took to Twitter to react to the privacy commissioner’s document, predicting that the government’s criticisms of the mainstream electronic payment infrastructure will likely boost the adoption of privacy coins among Canadian citizens.

“This will almost certainly increase the usage of privacy coins…in Canada,” Greenspan tweeted.


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Author: Samuel Haig 
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What Bear Market? Major Bitcoin Mining Farm Goes Live in Canada

The bitcoin mining facility that DMG Blockchain Solutions announced it was building in British Columbia, Canada in July is now operational.

Though the full capacity of the facility is 85 megawatts, initially only 60 megawatts will be made available at the operation that occupies 27,000 sq. ft. The power that the Mining as a Service (MaaS) operation will be using if generated purely from hydroelectricity. Besides installing a power substation purely for its needs, DMG has also had to build a road to the facility.

Unlike other crypto mining facilities which have been accused of impacting the power needs of the local communities in the places where they set up shop, DMG’s facility in British Columbia will not disenfranchise the local community — at least according to its operators.

“The power that DMG is bringing to its new facility is enough to power a city of 50,000 homes, but is independent from the local community grid,” said a press release from DMG Blockchain Solutions.

Timeline Extended

The project is a few weeks late as it had been anticipated to be operational by September, CCN reported in July. At the time, the diversified crypto and blockchain firm had said that the 85MW Canadian facility would increase its capacity by over 20 times.

Due to the abundance of cheap hydropower, Canada has become one of the most preferred locations for bitcoin mining. The low temperatures also enable miners to reduce their cooling costs.

Earlier in the year, it was reported that crypto miners were leaving China over fears of a regulatory crackdown and heading to the North American country. Some of the Chinese cryptocurrency miners that were said to be preparing to move to Canada at the time included Bitmain, ZQMiner, and BTC.Top.

Bitcoin mining firms have, however, not been embraced wholeheartedly in all regions in Canada. Earlier this year, Quebec placed a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining after a deluge of firms in the sector flooded into the region.

Fears of Excessive Demand

At the time, the concern was that the province would not be able to meet the needs of households and businesses in the region while serving the energy-hungry needs of miners. Over 100 crypto mining firms had reportedly sought licenses to start operations in the region, and their estimated combined electricity consumption was around 10TWh. This would have meant that they would have nearly exhausted the province’s surplus energy capacity, which is estimated to be 13TWh.

The moratorium was later lifted with new electricity rates set for cryptocurrency miners. The province’s power utility, Hydro-Quebec, also announced that it would disconnect power to cryptocurrency miners whenever the grid was at maximum capacity.


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Author: Mark Emem
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Bitcoin Mutual Fund Launches in Canada

First Block Capital Inc., a Canadian cryptocurrency and blockchain investment company, has announced that its bitcoin trust, FBC Bitcoin Trust, has achieved mutual fund status in Canada, allowing investors to place funds in registered accounts such as a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

The trust is available on NEO Connect, a fund distribution platform, under the ticker FBCBT, and is available to accredited investors only. Advisors can trade the fund with the same efficiency and ease as trading ETFs.

NEO Connect allows daily settlements, removing the previous 30-day redemption clause.

Simplifying Market Exposure

“At First Block, we provide investment exposure to bitcoin by removing the complicated barriers to investing directly in the cryptocurrency,” Sean Clark, CEO and co-founder of First Block, said in a prepared statement. “As the market leader in providing investment vehicles based on blockchain and cryptocurrency in Canada, we are very happy to make our fund more accessible to the accredited investor community. In this fast-changing world, NEO is the perfect partner with whom we have seized the opportunity to grow our fund within their proven and rapidly expanding fund distribution network.”

The advisors search for the symbol on NEO Connect with existing equities trading tools and select the number of units they want to purchase on behalf of their clients. Once they hit “buy,” the order executes at the end of the day at net asset value, without “bid” or “ask” spreads. The resulting position automatically integrates into the client accounts.

The trust will give investors exposure to bitcoin without having to acquire, hold, or manage the actual bitcoins. Trust units are considered a qualified investment in a mutual fund trust under the Tax Act, and the fund has surpassed 150 unit holders in less than a year since its launch.

The trust has been approved by the BCSC (British Columbia Securities Commission) and OSC (Ontario Securities Commission), according to First Block Capital, and marks the first and only product approved of its kind in Canada.

Making History

The trust has been approved by the BCSC (British Columbia Securities Commission) and OSC (Ontario Securities Commission), according to First Block Capital, and marks the first and only product approved of its kind in Canada.

“Today, for the first time in Canada, accredited investors working with investment advisors can seamlessly take positions in bitcoin through the FBC Bitcoin Trust,” said Joe Schmitt, president and CEO of NEO. “As the world evolves, we are very pleased our unique fund distribution platform can help the investment community access, with ease and efficiency, an ever-expanding spectrum of new and innovative asset classes.”

“Our goal is to make investments in the digital currency asset class more accessible, and we are one step closer to achieving this goal by allowing unit holders to place units in government sponsored tax efficient vehicles, and by providing daily liquidity through NEO Connect, a fund distribution platform with a rapidly growing dealer network,” said Marc van der Chijs, co-founder and chief investment officer of First Block. “With this accomplishment, we continue to push Canada forward as a world leader in regulated blockchain and cryptocurrency investment vehicles.”

Also read: Canada’s only actively managed cryptocurrency fund now 91% cash

Activity Set To Begin

First Block expects most FBC Bitcoin Trust investors will start to move units in the first month. Registered broker dealer firms which First Block has worked with will manage all transfers to prepare for the fund’s launch.

NEO Connect, which claims the distinction of being Canada’s sole fund distribution platform permitting prospectus and private/offering memorandum funds to be bought and redeemed the way ETFs are, distributes 46 funds managed by three asset managers over 15 dealer networks, servicing nearly $600 million worth of assets.

 


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Author: Lester Coleman
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Canadian Government Launches Ethereum Block Explorer

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has launched a blockchain explorer built on Ethereum. According to a news release, the organization said the blockchain explorer application, dubbed Catena, was developed by Bitaccess and will be hosted by its Industrial Research Assistance Program on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).

LIONBIT

This makes the hosted data always accessible and immutable, as it’s not organized in one location, which could subject it to site failure or access issues. According to Bitaccess, the explorer application is similar to a search engine, and it allows users to instantly “search the Ethereum blockchain” for “published grants and contribution data” stored on the network through Catena.

Moe Adham, co-founder of Bitaccess, in a statement said, “We built the Catena Blockchain Suite as a simple, low risk, application for institutions to get introduced to blockchain technology. So far the reception has been terrific”.

Using the IPFS function, users will be afforded a “peer-to-peer method of storing and sharing data” in a distributed method that makes them “unalterable” and preserved “far into the future” long after the original web host has gone offline.

TIP

The NRC statement read in part:

“These are early days, but NRC IRAP’s experiments with blockchain are expected to provide constructive insight into the potential for this technology and how it may be used for more open and transparent operations for public programs.”

Earlier this year, the NRC launched the Canadian government’s first live trial of public blockchain technology with the aim of building a transparent administration of government grants and contributions.

At the time of the launch, the government was able to use the blockchain to publish information on “new and amended Contribution Agreements with firms in real time.” Adham says his company’s goal is to help institutions “become fully transparent” and help constituents participate in the “verification and validation of public information.”


IZX

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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3 Top Marijuana Stocks to Buy After Canada’s Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Canada now stands as the first major economic power to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. On Tuesday, the Canadian Senate overwhelmingly passed bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act. Although it will take provinces and territories another eight to 12 weeks to prepare, a sizable new cannabis market will soon open in the country.



Most Canadian marijuana stocks moved higher after the legislative milestone, but which stocks are the best picks for investors looking to profit from the anticipated marijuana market boom? Here’s why Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) , Aphria (NASDAQOTH: APHQF) , and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH: ACBFF) look like top marijuana stocks to buy after Canada’s historic vote.

Canopy Growth Corporation

Capitalizing on the coming recreational marijuana market requires two key ingredients: plenty of production capacity and a strong retail presence. Canopy Growth has both.

Canopy currently operates facilities with over 2.4 million square feet of growing space. However, the company is expanding its operations to include more than 5 million square feet of growing space by next year. Based on some back-of-the-envelope calculations, Canopy Growth should be able to produce more than 780,000 kilograms of cannabis each year at its projected full capacity.

There are 10 provinces in Canada and three territories. Canopy Growth already has supply agreements for recreational marijuana with three of them and has announced retail sites in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Although Canopy Growth claims the highest market cap of any marijuana stock, it actually ranks as one of the best bargains in terms of cost per kilogram of production capacity. In addition, the company’s partnership with large alcoholic-beverage maker Constellation Brands  gives it access to resources that other marijuana companies don’t have.

Aphria

Aphria appears to be in good shape to compete in the recreational market, as well. Although the company currently can grow only around 35,000 kilograms of cannabis per year, Aphria is on target to have an annual production capacity of 255,000 kilograms by early 2019.

The company also has solidified its retail strategy by forging a key distribution partnership. In May, Aphria selected Southern Glazer as its exclusive distribution partner for recreational marijuana. Southern Glazer is the largest wine and spirits distributor in North America and has operations in all of Canada’s provinces.

Another plus for Aphria is its low cost structure. The company already is able to produce cannabis at less than 1 Canadian dollar per gram. Aphria CEO Vic Neufield has predicted that the ability to operate at low costs could be tremendously important by late 2019 as supply catches up with demand in the Canadian recreational marijuana market.

 

Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis has been more aggressive than any other marijuana grower in Canada at rapidly expanding capacity through acquisitions. The company has bought CanniMed Therapeutics and MedReleaf  — the third-largest Canadian marijuana grower — over the last few months.

Although some have criticized Aurora’s acquisition strategy, the company’s Chief Corporate Officer Cam Battley recently defended the approach of rapidly scooping up other players. Battley stated that Aurora was in the middle of a “land grab” to establish integrated operations as quickly as it could to compete more effectively.

Thanks in large part to the MedReleaf deal, Aurora will be on course to fund annual production capacity of more than 570,000 kilograms. The company also has secured agreements with smaller marijuana growers to lock in additional capacity.

Aurora’s efforts to prepare for the retail marijuana market include partnering with and buying a stake in Alcanna , which operates 229 liquor stores in Alberta. The company also has signed distribution agreements with leading Canadian pharmacy chains Pharmasave and Shoppers Drug Mart.

But aren’t these stocks too expensive?

Canopy Growth’s market cap stands at nearly $7 billion. Aphria and Aurora Cannabis claim market caps of around $2 billion and $4.3 billion, respectively. Are these marijuana stocks simply too expensive to buy? Not necessarily.

The Canadian annual recreational marijuana market is likely to be in the ballpark of CA$7 billion. Adding the potential for the medical marijuana market in the country brings the total market size to more than CA$8 billion. That’s not enough to justify the market caps of these top marijuana stocks — but the global opportunity is.

Currently, 22 countries other than Canada have active medical marijuana laws. Global demand for medical marijuana could create a market as much as eight times greater than the Canadian cannabis market. And that’s not including the possibility that other countries legalize medical marijuana or that the U.S. could change federal laws to allow states to legalize medical or recreational marijuana without fear of interference.

Granted, it could take longer than expected for these global markets to develop. Even top marijuana stocks could suffer if the delays are too long. Over the long run, though, I think that Canopy Growth, Aphria, and Aurora Cannabis should prosper from the loosening of restrictions on marijuana use.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavor to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!
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Author: Keith Speights
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Canada Cracks Down On Unlicensed Cryptocurrency Companies

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is cracking down on unlicensed companies promoting investments and trading in cryptocurrencies

The authority issued an investor alert on May 18, warning the public about five companies:

BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OÜ, and BaapPay Inc., which it said “appeared to be involved in schemes that target Ontario investors and encourage them to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies.” These have not provided a prospectus, as required, or received an exemption.

The crackdown on the five companies followed several complains from customer and would-be investors, the OSC said, and comes at a time when regulators in North America are taking stern measures against cryptocurrency exchanges operators and token issuers.

Throughout the past few weeks, state and provincial regulators in the US and Canada have conducted a wide-ranging crackdown on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency-related investment products.

Don’t forget to join our Telegram channel for Crypto, Business & Technolgy news delivered to you daily

This resulted in nearly 70 open investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions, but according to Joseph P. Borg, president of NASAA and director of the Alabama Securities Commission, the results “are just the tip of the iceberg.”

The coordinated action plan, dubbed “Operation Cryptosweep,” involved members of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) from more than 40 jurisdictions. The regulators said they were currently conducting additional investigations into potential fraudulent conduct that may result in additional enforcement actions.

“The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the US and Canada, and NASAA members are committed to combating this threat,” said Borg.

“Despite a series of public warnings from securities regulators at all levels of government, crypto criminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”

Borg noted that not all ICOs or cryptocurrency-related investments were fraudulent but urged investors to approach these with extreme caution.

ICOs raised more than US$5 billion in 2017 but 2018 promises to be even more remarkable. Token sales raised more money in the first quarter of 2018 than the whole year 2017.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Diana Ngo 
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