As crypto markets consolidate, Bitbuy debuts new staking offering

Shakepay also joins the list of regulated crypto platforms in Canada.

Even as one major crypto trading platform, Binance, indicated it was exiting the Canadian market, Bitbuy Technologies has moved to introduce more crypto offerings. Bitbuy, a subsidiary of WonderFi Technologies, said June 2 that it would begin adding Cardano, a public blockchain platform, to its staking services.

Staking is offering digital assets like crypto as collateral to validate transactions on a blockchain. In return for taking on the risk of staking, participants are rewarded with coins and tokens.

Consolidation in the crypto market has taken place within the context of new regulatory crackdowns following concern over volatility

Bitbuy claimed that since it began offering staking in November 2022, more than 42 percent of monthly active Bitbuy users currently engage in crypto staking.

Bitbuy said it uses BitGo Trust Company to look after its staked assets. BitGo, one of the world’s largest crypto custodians, has claimed over $64 billion USD in assets under custody.

Bitbuy also said that Figment Inc. provides Bitbuy’s clients with the ability to stake their assets, and claimed more than 200 clients and billions of dollars of assets already staked.

Wealthsimple claimed it was the first regulated crypto platform in Canada to offer staking in October 2022, when it first announced the service.

Even as Bitbuy announced its newest offering, Shakepay became the latest restricted crypto dealer in Canada, and the first Quebec-based crypto asset trading program to register with the Ontario Securities Commission. Shakepay announced the news over Twitter on May 30. It joins 11 other registered platforms.

VirgoCX, another regulated Canadian crypto platform, also said it intended to move into staking after raising $10 million CAD in Series A funding.

A trio of regulated Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges consolidated in April when WonderFi, Coinsquare, and CoinSmart Financial announced that the three companies reached an agreement to combine and create what they claim will be “Canada’s largest regulated crypto asset trading platform.”

Collectively, Vancouver-based WonderFi, and Toronto’s Coinsquare and CoinSmart claim to have over $600 million CAD in assets under custody and more than 1.65 million users.

RELATED: WonderFi clears regulatory hurdles, set to close acquisition of Bitbuy

Bitbuy previously took aim at Wealthsimple, when it added stock trading to its platform in September 2022. At the time, Bitbuy said that by adding stock trading to its crypto-exchange platform, it was “taking aim at leading competitor Wealthsimple,” as a spokesperson for the company put it in a statement to BetaKit.

With its beefed-up staking program, Bitbuy appears to be going after Wealthsimple once again.

In general, consolidation in the crypto market has taken place within the context of new regulatory crackdowns following concern over the volatility of the platforms.

In a move to prevent another FTX collapse, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) levied more restrictions on crypto trading platforms in the country in May. The changes included prohibiting exchanges from permitting users to buy or deposit stablecoins or proprietary tokens “without the prior written consent of the CSA.”

RELATED: Canadian securities regulators tighten rules for crypto platforms following Voyager, Celsius, FTX collapse

These stricter rules have put the squeeze on crypto businesses as they navigate new compliance standards in a volatile crypto market. This has pushed out the likes of Paxos and OKX, which both announced their exits from Canada in April, as well as Binance.

Despite the ongoing crackdown on crypto platforms, the OSC’s Investor Advisory Panel warned in early June that it continues to believe crypto assets constitute a growing risk for financial consumers.

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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