The digital asset trading platform Bitfinex announced on Friday that accounts for Ontario-based users with no funds on the platform would be closed immediately. The exchange also intended to limit access to those without open positions in the exchange’s peer-to-peer financing market or open margin positions.
Beginning March 1, users who hold balances or open positions on Bitfinex and live in Ontario — which includes the nation’s capital city Ottawa and Toronto — “will no longer have access to any services.” Customers were urged to remove funds before the effective date by Bitfinex.
The Ontario Securities Commission, or OSC, has been the primary body responsible for crypto exchanges cracking down operating in the region. This includes cracking of many major exchanges like OKEx, Bybit, KuCoin, and Polo Digital Assets. However, Bitfinex did not mention anything about it.
After the crypto exchange apparently promised its users it would be able to continue its operations in the region, the OSC issued a notification saying Binance was not authorized “to offer to trade in derivatives or securities to persons or firms located in the province.” Binance reportedly stated that there was a misunderstanding about the situation.
Intense regulatory scrutiny on Bitfinex in past days
Regulators in the United States have also targeted the exchange giant. Bitfinex and its sister company Tether (USDT) were fined $42.5 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in October for allegedly enabling “illegal, off-exchange retail commodity transactions in digital assets with US persons.” The New York Attorney General’s Office earlier ordered the two companies to pay $18.5 million in restitution and to report on their reserves on a regular basis.
In October last year, the exchange witnessed system issues which resulted in all activities getting ceased for some time. Bitfinex recently joined hands with El Salvador to issue a $1 billion Bitcoin bond which grabbed multiple headlines in November 2021.