The province of Québec will now require the operators of bitcoin ATMs and exchanges to obtain money-services business licensing.
The Québec Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Authority) has published an updated policy statement that now includes requirements for businesses dealing in virtual currency. In discussing the license class for the operation of ATMs, the statement notes:
“Making available to the public a means of purchasing, with cash, virtual money from an automated distributor, without the intervention of a natural person, also constitutes the operation of automated teller machines.”
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In falling under such regulations, such businesses will be required to keep records and verify the identities of their customers. They also need to supply information about the business’s directors, officers, partners and lenders.
The Authority goes on to point out that even if such a business has licensing, customer funds are not guaranteed by the province’s financial services compensation fund or the country’s deposit insurance fund. Thus, Quebeckers are advised to exercise caution when dealing in virtual currencies.
In addition, residents are warned about Ponzi and related schemes to lure virtual currency investors. The anonymous nature of virtual currency transactions makes it possible for scammers to pull off such schemes without fear of being held accountable.