Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) jointly published Notice 21-330 last month, providing guidance on the types of advertising activities, social media content, and marketing strategies by crypto-trading platforms ("CTPs") that may breach securities requirement. Notice 21-330 urges CTPs to make sure their advertising practices are in compliance with securities legislation and IIROC rules, as well as the obligation to treat their clients fairly, honestly, and in good faith.
CTPs are advised not to make misleading or false representations in the marketing material regarding their status under the securities regulation, or hold themselves out as an “exchange” and/or “marketplace” unless they are properly registered in those categories. The regulators expressed concerns over improper “gambling style” promotions and schemes. CTPs are advised not to make overly promotional statements that do not have adequate support to substantiate these statements.CTPs are also required to make reasonable efforts and have policies and procedures in place to achieve the best execution or fair pricing for their customers.
We remind registered CTPs and prospective CTP registrants that CSA staff may review advertising and marketing as part of the registration review process and following registration as part of a compliance review.