The Autorité des marchés financiers or AMF, the organization responsible for financial regulation in the Canadian province of Québec, has asked the companies and businesses involved in areas such as currency exchange, fund transfers, and the operation of private ATMs to apply for a license. This seems another attempt towards regulated Bitcoin market.
The AMF regulates the province’s financial markets and provides assistance to consumers of financial products and services and this step according to some stakeholders is an indication that regulator is trying to address the issues that are being faced by Bitcoin users or investors. This is in pattern of BitLicense from the New York albeit a lot of details have yet to come.
The regulator says that firms operating Bitcoin ATMs and trading platforms in Québec must obtain a license from the Canadian province’s Autorité des marchés financiers. According to it the license is required under Money-Services Business Act which has been tweaked a bit to include currency exchange, fund transfers, and the operation of private ATMs providers.
The Money-Services Business Act requires that businesses involved in areas such as currency exchange, fund transfers, and the operation of private ATMs apply for a license. According to the AMF while it will now oversee Bitcoin businesses, it does not regulate actual virtual currencies, and does not protect consumers from any associated risks, such as volatility.
The statement issued by the AMF says, “Quebeckers should therefore be careful with virtual currency transactions as they may incur losses that are not covered under current compensation or deposit insurance plans.” This looks like a part of measures that were accepted by Canada’s parliament in June last year.
The AMF has Unique Power to Regulate Financial Sector in Quebec
The Canadian parliament had then passed a bill bringing in comprehensive regulation of digital currencies, classing firms dealing in the likes of Bitcoin as ‘money services businesses’, subject to record keeping, verification procedures, suspicious transaction reporting and registration requirements.
Established under An Act respecting the Autorité des marchés financiers on February 1, 2004, the AMF is unique by virtue of its integrated regulation of the Québec financial sector, notably in the areas of insurance, securities, deposit institutions (other than banks) and the distribution of financial products and services.
In addition to the powers and responsibilities conferred on it by its incorporating legislation, the AMF oversees the enforcement of laws in each of the areas it regulates. It can also draw on self-regulatory organizations (SROs), to which certain regulatory powers are delegated.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org