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As a part of the global trend of stablecoins carving out its niche, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the watchdog organization overseeing Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators, has stepped in with new guidelines to provide clarity on the trading and issuance of stablecoins within its borders.
Among numerous assets holding different characteristics and utilities, in the world of crypto, stablecoins, which tie their value to traditional fiat currencies or other assets, have risen in popularity.
CSA’s Interim Framework For Stablecoins
The CSA’s recent announcement on October 5th offers insight into its interim stance on “value-referenced crypto assets,” specifically emphasizing stablecoins.
The clarification emerges as a significant update from its February statement, in which the CSA emphasized that stablecoins might fall under the purview of securities and derivatives. Thus, Canadian exchanges would be restricted from trading them.
However, this recent guidance introduces a potential shift in stance. Exchanges and stablecoin issuers could trade these assets if they adhere to set conditions. A crucial prerequisite entails the need for issuers to maintain a befitting reserve of assets with a qualified custodian.
Moreover, exchanges dealing in stablecoins must ensure transparency by publicizing pertinent details about their operations, governance, and asset reserves.
Stan Magidson, the CSA Chair and also the Chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission, highlighted the significance of this framework by stating:
This interim framework, which we will build upon in the future, sets certain standards to help ensure that investors receive the information they need about the assets they are purchasing, including the risks associated with them.
Cautionary Note For Investors
While the new guidance by the CSA might seem like a green light for stablecoin trading and issuance, it’s worth noting the undertones of their announcement. The CSA highlighted the alleged inherent risks associated with fiat-backed crypto assets.
According to the CSA, meeting the regulator’s terms does not stamp these assets as risk-free or carry an official endorsement. The report read:
The CSA cautions Canadian investors that value-referenced crypto assets, including any fiat-backed crypto assets that satisfy the interim terms and conditions, are subject to various risks and are not the same as fiat currency. The fact that an asset satisfies these interim terms and conditions should not be viewed as an endorsement or approval of the asset, nor give any indication that the asset is risk-free.
Meanwhile, according to data from DeFilLama, the stablecoin market capitalization currently sits at $123.88, a notable plummet from the value recorded a year ago. Coincodex data shows the stablecoin market represents 11.28% of the global crypto market cap, which currently stands at $1.65 trillion at the time of writing.
Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView