In a Friday announcement, Bitfinex said it would be closing the accounts for Ontario-based customers who have no balances on the platform immediately. In addition, it plans to restrict access to those who do not have open positions in the exchange’s peer-to-peer financing market or open margin positions.
Users who have balances or open positions on Bitfinex and are one of the roughly 15 million residents of Ontario — which includes Toronto and the nation's capital city of Ottawa — “will no longer have access to any services” starting on March 1. The exchange advised customers to withdraw funds before the effective date.
Though Bitfinex did not mention the Ontario Securities Commission, or OSC, the region’s financial watchdog has been cracking down on the crypto exchanges operating in the area, 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 persons or companies located in the province” after the crypto exchange reportedly told its users it would be able to do so. Binance reportedly said there was a miscommunication on the issue.
Bitfinex has also been the target of U.S. regulators. In October, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined the crypto exchange and its sister company Tether $42.5 million, with Bitfinex allegedly facilitating “illegal, off-exchange retail commodity transactions in digital assets with U.S persons.” The Office of the New York Attorney General previously ordered the two firms to pay $18.5 million in damages and submit to periodically reporting on their reserves.
Crypto exchange Bitfinex has announced users based in the Canadian province of Ontario will no longer have access to many of its services starting on March 1.