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Canada Proposes Capital Guidelines for Crypto Assets

Canada's financial regulator proposes capital guidelines for crypto assets, aiming to address risk and foster clarity in the industry

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Jul 27, 2023 04:50:30 PM IST
Updated: Jul 28, 2023 10:05:56 AM IST

Canada Proposes Capital Guidelines for Crypto AssetsImage: Shutterstock

Canada's Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has proposed new capital rules for banks and insurers in the country holding cryptos. The move comes in response to the increasing scrutiny of the crypto space and aims to clarify how to treat crypto assets exposures regarding capital and liquidity.

The proposed guidelines, open for public consultation until September 20, reflect the recommendations put forth in December 2022 by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. OSFI's Superintendent, Peter Routledge, emphasised the need for clarity and stated that the new guidelines would reflect industry input and international standards.

The proposed rules offer both a simplified and comprehensive approach, depending on the extent of an institution's exposure to crypto-assets. The guidelines define four categories of crypto assets and their capital treatment, seeking to address the evolving risk environment posed by digital assets.

The Canadian financial regulator has been closely monitoring the crypto industry, driven by a downturn in the market and the aftermath of various bankruptcies. Notably, Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange by trading volume, withdrew from the Canadian market in May due to the country's stricter regulations.

The proposed changes align with the evolving global regulatory landscape around digital assets. The Basel Committee introduced new banking standards for crypto-asset exposure in December 2022, which are set to be implemented from January 1, 2025. The standards cover various aspects, including tokenised traditional assets, stablecoins, and unbacked crypto assets.

The OSFI's draft guidelines aim to incorporate these international standards while also considering the specific requirements of the local insurance industry.

Canada's move comes amidst growing concerns worldwide about the impact of digital assets on banking systems. As the consultation period continues until September 20, the crypto industry in Canada and beyond will closely watch the developments, hoping for regulatory clarity and a balanced approach that fosters innovation while mitigating risks.

Shashank is the founder of yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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