Coinbase is rolling out Interac e-transfer integration as part of its Canadian offerings as it says it’s encouraged by the regulatory approach in the country.
The added feature, which will make it easier to move money in and out of Coinbase accounts, comes after the company hired Lucas Matheson as country director and ramped up its staff to over 200 engineers in its Toronto and Vancouver offices in the past year.
The company says the moves signal its commitment to Canada, and come at a time when other trading platforms including Binance, the world’s largest crypto platform, have said they were pulling out of the country.
Binance, along with Bybit and others, said in May their departure was related to tightening regulations around cryptocurrencies as the Canadian Securities Administrators looks to increase oversight in the sector.
The CSA rolled out rules earlier this year requiring crypto-trading platforms to agree to numerous terms as their registration applications are being reviewed.
The umbrella organization for provincial securities regulators said the move, along with restrictions on who can invest and in what kind of crypto assets, was prompted by a string of high-profile bankruptcies in the global sector.
Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong says the company has had a positive working relationship with regulators and is encouraged by the direction they’re taking.
“We’ve found the Canadian regulators to be really amenable to work with and there’s a real genuine interest, I think on both sides, to have regulatory clarity about how both consumers can be protected in this environment.”
Coinbase signed on to the required pre-clearance rules with regulators in March, one of 11 crypto trading platforms listed to have done so. The CSA lists another 12 crypto trading platforms that have gone through the process and been cleared to do business in Canada.
The company’s process in Canada has been relatively smooth, but it’s facing charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for operating as an unregistered securities exchange. The regulator alleges that Coinbase “deliberately refused” to follow rules it knew about around registering securities offers.
Armstrong said in a statement at the time that the company was “proud to represent the industry in court” to get clarity around crypto rules.
The charges are part of a wider crackdown U.S. regulators have been pushing against cryptocurrency companies, with charges also against Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao, a Canadian, along with charges against Celsius Network and its founder.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried also faces numerous charges following the collapse of the high-flying crypto trading platform. He was sent to jail Friday after a judge revoked his bail for trying to influence witnesses.
Armstrong said these are still early days for cryptocurrencies, which first emerged in 2009. Greater regulatory certainty will help lay a stronger foundation and allow for further growth for the financial technology, he said.
“I’m pretty optimistic that we’re going to see regulatory clarity emerging, similar to what we’ve seen in Europe, for instance, where comprehensive crypto legislation called MiCA was passed already, and we’re seeing similar efforts in the U.K., Singapore, Australia. And I think Canada is on a similar path.”