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Frequently Asked Questions About CCML & Regulation

  • Updated
 

Glossary

Here is a list of acronyms in this article and what they stand for.

CCML

Coinsquare Capital Markets Ltd.

CIPF

Canadian Investor Protection Fund

ATS

Alternative Trading System

CIRO

Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization

CTP

Crypto Trading Platform

OEO

Order Execution Only


What is CCML and how is it related to Bitbuy?

Coinsquare Capital Markets Ltd. (CCML) is a CIRO dealer member firm. CCML is a CIRO-regulated brokerage owned by WonderFi, the parent company of Bitbuy and operates our fully-regulated digital asset trading platform. CCML also operates the ATS and is a registered investment dealer. By registering as a dealer member, CCML will be able to offer the safeguards that all members offer, and the protection of CIPF for the cash, but not crypto assets, held by CCML on behalf of clients.


Who is CIRO and why is regulation so important?

CIRO is the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization that regulates investment dealers as well as equity, fixed income, derivatives and digital asset trading across Canada. Basically, it is the organization that oversees investment firms that offer stocks, bonds, options, futures, and now cryptocurrencies. CCML is the first native Crypto Trading Platform (CTP) to achieve full status as a CIRO dealer member. 


What is the CIPF, and what assets are protected?

The Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) is an investor compensation fund for CIRO member firms.

If a CIRO dealer becomes insolvent, CIPF provides limited protection for eligible property held by the dealer on behalf of a client. The limits on CIPF protection are generally $1 million for all general accounts combined and $1 million for each type of separate account (such as registered retirement accounts).

In practice, the CIPF protection is not commonly invoked because CIRO member firms are held to rigorous standards of compliance and capital requirements as well as frequent detailed examinations and control standards. These processes ensure the proper segregation and protection of client funds.

Notably, CIPF protection only covers the cash balances in clients' accounts (applicable to both Canadian and US dollars) and not any digital asset balances. CIPF also does not guarantee clients against investment losses and does not protect clients against losses resulting from unauthorized logins to investing accounts.


 Why did we make this change?

The crypto trading platform operated by Bitbuy is subject to time-limited relief granted by the Canadian Securities Administrators. Under this relief, we were required to transition our platform to CIRO oversight. CCML is a CIRO-regulated brokerage owned by WonderFi, the parent company of Bitbuy.

What is digital asset custody and who are CCML’s custodians?

When clients purchase digital assets through Bitbuy, CCML is responsible for the safekeeping of these assets. This safekeeping is referred to as custody. CCML uses external, specialist digital asset custodians to provide custody of client assets. These custodians include Tetra Trust and Bitbuy Custody. All custodians are separately licensed and regulated trust companies, subject to rigorous licensing requirements.


Why do I need to sign new account agreements? 

Going forward, Bitbuy's digital asset trading platform will be operated by CCML. Due to various CIRO regulatory requirements, clients are required to sign a new set of legal agreements with CCML in order to continue to access the trading platform.

The documents that you’ll be asked to sign next time you log in are:

  • Relationship Disclosure Document - This document describes the products and services offered by CCML, the nature of the account, CCML’s related parties, and CCML’s responsibilities to its clients.
  • Risk Statement - This document describes the various risks involved in trading digital assets that clients should be aware of.
  • Client Account Agreement - This document is the legal contract that sets out CCML’s terms of use and the rights and obligations of both CCML and the client with regard to the client’s account with CCML.

CIRO requires that all clients of member firms agree to the above documentation and disclosure agreements before operating an account. Therefore, you’ll need to confirm that you have read and agreed to each statement next time you log in.


What happens If I refuse to sign the new agreements?

If you choose not to sign these required CCML documents, you can request to have your accounts closed and all assets returned to you. Reach out to our Support team to make this request.


Does Bitbuy's new regulatory status affect me?

CCML becoming a CIRO member comes with many benefits. You can rest assured that you are working with a Canadian platform that has met the highest regulatory standards required in the traditional securities industry. This includes strong financial controls, insurance coverage, financial reporting, and cybersecurity controls which are all designed to protect investors. 

On a day-to-day level, the only change you’ll notice is the new name and new account agreements. There will be no changes in how you access the products and services we offer.


What are crypto asset statements, and why should I read them?

CCML offers digital assets that have been carefully vetted, but all digital assets have unique characteristics based on the nature of the asset class and the underlying associated blockchain technology. These characteristics can change and affect the risk profile of the digital asset. In order to provide clients with a high-level overview of the unique features of the digital asset and the associated risks with investing in it, CCML offers a Crypto Asset Statement for each digital asset available for trading on our platform. 

We strongly encourage clients to do their own research before investing as this document is not meant to be an all-encompassing analysis of the possible risks associated with any digital asset. 


Can CCML provide Investment Advice?

CCML is an Order Execution Only (OEO) CIRO dealer and marketplace. This designation means that we do not provide investment advice or recommendations. 


Will CCML offer new features?

CCML has been working in the background on several new features, services and products, with plans to launch them over the coming months. Please watch out for email updates from CCML regarding these new features in the near future. 


Can I still withdraw digital assets?

CCML will continue to support transfers of digital assets to and from our platform where applicable. Some digital assets are not currently available for withdrawal due to third-party technical reasons. For more information, please see our website for a list of digital assets that are trade-only and those that are available for withdrawal.


Who do I contact If I have questions about the process?

Bitbuy is happy to answer any questions related to the regulatory status of CCML. Your questions can be directed to our Compliance team via email at compliance@bitbuy.com.  


What is the difference between CCML’s regulatory status and that of other Canadian crypto exchanges?

CCML is a registered investment dealer, CIRO dealer and marketplace member.  CCML’s regulatory status and registration category is the most comprehensive form of regulation under the Canadian regulatory system. All crypto-asset trading platforms (CTPs) in Canada will be required to achieve this permanent regulatory status in the near future.  While other Canadian platforms have been pursuing other interim registration and regulatory approvals, they will all be required to apply for, and achieve, CIRO dealer status in order to continue operating in Canada.

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