snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Blockchain applications may be caught by Ontario’s securities law

Posted in Fintech, Regulatory Compliance
Shane C. D'SouzaRene Sorell

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has issued a press release advising stakeholders that Ontario securities law may apply to any use of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), such as blockchain, as part of financial products or service offerings.

The OSC emphasized that it is keen to support the innovative potential of DLT because, among other things, DLT has the potential to increase transparency and efficiencies in the capital markets. However, because of DLT’s novelty, the OSC encourages business to speak to the OSC about securities law and investor protection requirements that may apply.

The OSC has cautioned that “[p]roducts or other assets that are tracked and traded as part of a distributed ledger may be securities, even if they do not represent shares of a company or ownership of an entity.” In other words, Ontario’s securities law may apply to initial coin or token offerings and DLT-based virtual currencies.

If you are considering capital market applications of DLT/blockchain, please contact the authors of this post to discuss whether Ontario’s securities law may apply.

This post appeared previously on the Canadian Securities Regulatory Monitor.

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