‘A lot of the bad actors have been shaken out of the market’ — Bitvo CEO

Pamela Draper’s Opinion on Canadian Regulatory Climate

Pamela Draper, the head of crypto platform Bitvo, has expressed her opinion on businesses leaving Canada due to the regulatory climate.

At the Collision Conference in Toronto on June 29, Draper told Cointelegraph that even though crypto companies such as Binance, dYdX, and Bybit have declared their exit from Canada in 2023, the nation is one of the few areas with an established regulatory framework that can be followed. She gave the example of the US, where Binance and Coinbase are being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“In Canada there is a structure that one can adhere to in order to be aware of the rules,” Draper stated. “It may not be in total agreement with all the elements, but there is an understanding of the parameters.”

She mentioned that some businesses with overseas operations may be unwilling to “invest” in Canada due to the regulatory framework. In 2021, Canadian regulators mandated that crypto businesses must register as either an “investment dealer” or “regulated marketplace” within two years, with the expectation that they will be compliant by 2023.

In June 2022, the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX declared its intention to buy Bitvo as part of its expansion into Canada. However, the deal failed to materialize in November when FTX filed for bankruptcy and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was apprehended in the Bahamas.

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Draper stated that she was not initially worried about the reports regarding FTX’s liquidity in the beginning of November 2022 as many viewed the exchange as a “shining example of regulatory advancement”. She cited a $400 million investment in FTX that kept its multi-billion dollar value in place then.

“It appeared to be at odds with what Sam was publicly proclaiming and the entire storyline of our merger arrangement that FTX were doing something wrong,” stated Draper. “Had we been bought, we would definitely have been entwined in the insolvency proceedings […] Nobody on the planet anticipated FTX to collapse as drastically as they did.”

At the Collision Conference, which ran from June 26 to June 29, Bybit, Binance, dYdX, OKX, and Paxos revealed that they are reducing or ceasing their activities in Canada. Moreover, the House of Commons in Canada issued a document that discussed the advantages and possibilities of blockchain technology in various industries.

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