Popular cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced to suspension of transactions involving five cryptocurrencies in Canada. This significant decision, which will be enacted by the end of November, impacts notable digital assets like Tether (USDT), Dai, Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Wrapped Ether (WETH), and Wrapped Axelar (WAXL). As the crypto landscape undergoes consistent evolution, Kraken’s move seems to be a response to the changing regulatory climate in Canada.
A responsive move to Canadian regulatory changes
Multiple customers received emails from Kraken detailing the forthcoming suspension of specific crypto assets. According to the information shared with Cointelegraph, Kraken will initiate the suspension process for these five cryptocurrencies in the upcoming month.
Kraken official spokesperson provided clarity on the situation. They emphasized the platform’s dedication to upholding the highest compliance standards in the rapidly growing crypto sector. The spokesperson said, “In accordance with recent Canadian regulatory changes and following extensive consultation with the CSA and OSC, we today notified our clients that we will soon be suspending trading for USDT, DAI, WBTC, WETH, and WAXL.”
Kraken further reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Canadian users have a seamless trading experience despite these changes.
A growing trend among crypto exchanges in Canada
Kraken’s decision may not come as a shock to many in the Canadian crypto community. Throughout 2023, multiple exchanges have made comparable decisions, reflecting a broader trend in response to regulatory shifts. Earlier in the year, Coinbase made headlines when they terminated the trading of USDT, DAI, and RAI. This move echoed Crypto.com’s actions, which had delisted USDT even earlier.
While some platforms are adjusting their asset listings, others have chosen to withdraw from the Canadian market altogether. Notable exchanges like OKX and Binance decided to halt operations in Canada. Specifically, OKX shut down its Canadian operations in June, while Binance revealed plans to withdraw in May. However, it’s important to note that Kraken isn’t exiting the Canadian market. They are simply suspending transactions related to a specific set of assets.
The email dispatched to Kraken’s users outlined a clear timeline for the suspensions. Starting November 30th, deposit and trading functionalities for the stated assets will be halted. Fast forwarding to December 4th, users will be prohibited from executing withdrawals for these assets. The final phase, as per the email, is set for December 5th. On this date, any residual assets related to the suspended cryptos will undergo conversion to U.S. dollars.
Kraken’s continued expansion elsewhere
While Kraken adjusts its operational strategy in Canada, it continues to expand and restructure in other regions. In a related development, the crypto exchange recently proclaimed the appointment of Bivu Das as the new managing director for its U.K. operations.
Announced on October 27, Bivu Das’s appointment is noteworthy given his impressive career trajectory. An entrepreneur at heart, Das previously held a pivotal role at Starling Bank. His extensive experience in both fintech and traditional financial sectors makes him a valuable asset to Kraken as they seek to consolidate and expand their position in the U.K. market.
The crypto sector remains dynamic, with exchanges like Kraken constantly recalibrating their strategies in light of evolving regulations. While Canadian users might face some immediate disruptions, it’s clear that Kraken remains committed to offering top-notch services in the region. Meanwhile, its efforts to bolster its presence in other markets, as evidenced by strategic appointments in the U.K., underscore the exchange’s global ambitions.