Bitfinex has announced its soon cutting services for its customers based in Ontario, Canada. In this regard, the cryptocurrency exchange has advised users to withdraw their funds by March.
Halting Of Services In Ontario
In an announcement on Friday, Bitfinex said it would be closing the accounts of users in Ontario that have zero balances, effective immediately. Moreover, the exchange would also limit access for those with no current open positions in its peer-to-peer financing markets, and users without open margin positions will also lose access to margin or borrowing.
Users with balances and open positions on the exchange have been given up to March 1 to withdraw their funds and close all their active positions. It’s worth mentioning that Bitfinex offered no explanation for the sudden suspension of services.
Nonetheless, the ceasing of operations in Ontario could have something to do with the region’s financial regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which has recently been restricting trading on centralized cryptocurrency exchanges that offer derivative products, including ByBit, Poloniex, and Binance.
The OSC announced in late December that Binance was not authorized to operate in the area, shortly after the exchange said its crypto services were available for residents of the Canadian province. Binance later claimed there was a “miscommunication” with the OSC and that it would be reaching out to the financial watchdog to rectify the confusion.
Bitfinex Got Spanked By US Regulators
Bitfinex is no stranger to regulatory heat. The exchange and its sister company Tether were slapped with a combined $42 million fine by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for purportedly facilitating illegal crypto transactions and for failing to register suitably as a futures commission merchant (FCM).
Additionally, New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered the two firms to stop trading in New York and pay $18.5 million in February.