The Canadian Securities Administrators, or CSA, and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, or IIROC, have issued guidelines for crypto trading platforms operating in the country to avoid “advertising and marketing materials that could mislead investors.”
In a Sept. 23 publication, the Canadian regulators’ guidelines warn crypto companies not to advertise “gambling style” promotions in which an investor is encouraged to sign up within a given time limit to take advantage of a reward or opportunity. Though the guidance was seemingly vague on restrictions concerning social media posts, the regulators recommended trading platforms designate an individual to review and approve communications and set up a system to ensure all messages are in compliance with regulatory guidelines.
“Misleading advertisements and improper marketing strategies may encourage investors to take on risks they would normally avoid, and not respecting the requirements under securities law and IIROC rules may raise concerns about a crypto trading platform’s fitness for registration,” said CSA chair Louis Morisset.
Some of the seemingly egregious examples the regulators provided included exchanges suggesting that they are registered under current securities laws or otherwise approved by regulators. The CSA and IIROC encouraged trading platforms to consult with their legal teams prior to releasing advertising and marketing announcements to the public.
The IIROC is a self-regulatory body that proposes measures to protect investors and support healthy domestic capital markets while the CSA is a national standards group covering Canada’s ten provinces and three territories. The two securities bodies have previously issued joint statements regarding rules on crypto industry players and worked together to clarify the use of crypto with the country’s securities laws.