In an announcement on Friday, Bitfinex said it would immediately close the accounts of Ontario-based customers who do not have funds on the platform. Additionally, he planned to restrict access to those who do not have open positions in the exchange’s peer-to-peer funding market or open margin positions.
Users who have open balances or positions on Bitfinex and are among Ontario’s approximately 15 million residents (which includes Toronto and Canada’s capital Ottawa) will “no longer have access to any services” as of March 1. The platform advised customers to withdraw their funds before the set date.
Although Bitfinex did not mention the Ontario Securities Commission, or OSC, the region’s financial regulator has been responsible for cracking down on crypto exchanges operating in the region, including OKEx, Bybit, KuCoin, and Polo Digital Assets. In December, the OSC issued a notice that Binance was not authorized “to offer trading in derivatives or securities to any person or company based in the province” after the exchange allegedly informed its users that it may continue to provide services in the region will offer. Binance reportedly said that there was a misunderstanding on the matter.
Bitfinex has also been targeted by US regulators. In October, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined the exchange and its sister company Tether $42.5 million for allegedly facilitating “illegal over-the-counter commodity transactions involving retail digital assets involving US persons.” The New York Attorney General had previously ordered the two companies to pay $18.5 million in damages and to report their reserves regularly.
Bitfinex announced that starting March 1st, users residing in the Canadian province of Ontario will no longer be able to access many of its services.