Crypto Assets and Cryptocurrency | New Brunswick Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB)

What are Crypto Assets? 

Crypto assets are strictly digital assets that use populace ledgers over the internet to prove ownership. They use cryptanalysis, peer-to-peer networks and a distributed ledger technology ( DLT ) – such as blockchain – to create, verify and secure transactions. They can have different functions and characteristics : they may be used as a culture medium of exchange ; a manner to store value ; or for other business purposes. Crypto assets generally operate independently of a central bank, central authority or government .
A distribute daybook is a type of database that stores electronic records shared and replicated across many locations and maintained by members of this decentralized network. Each new transaction must be agreed upon by all members of the net before it is added to the ledger. Blockchain is one type of spread daybook that arranges the data in chunks and chains them together. This singular way of structuring data gives blockchain transactions extra security system as they are irreversible. Blockchains can be used to store many types of data but have recently become democratic for their use of storing cryptocurrency transaction history .
Some of the more common types of crypto assets you may encounter are :
Cryptocurrency
Utility Tokens
Security Tokens
Non-Fungible Tokens

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency ( or virtual currency ) is likely the most long-familiar type of crypto asset. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency or culture medium of commute. It can be used :

  • To exchange for products or services, like fiat currency (such as Canadian dollars or US dollars) 
  • For speculative purposes, such as trading on a crypto asset trading platform (CTP) 
  • As a store of value 

It was created as an alternate to fiat money, but cryptocurrency is not considered legal tender in Canada. Cryptocurrencies have no built-in value ; their perceived rate is based largely on provision and demand in the market. Examples include Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple and Litecoin .
Cryptocurrencies are by and large not considered to be securities and, consequently, are broadly not subject to securities laws. For model, when you buy a cryptocurrency and take immediate delivery of the crypto asset into your digital wallet, this transaction is broadly not subject to securities laws. however, if you trade cryptocurrency on a CTP and the CTP holds your cryptocurrency in a digital wallet for you on their platform, this creates an ongoing sign based on the prize of the underlying crypto asset, and this abridge is national to securities regulation. CTPs that provide this service for users must be registered with the appropriate securities governor ( s ). You can check that a CTP is registered by using the free National Registration Search tool from the Canadian Securities Administrators .
There may be some circumstances where a cryptocurrency would be considered a security. This may need to be determined on a individual footing by examining the specific situation, scenario or characteristics of the cryptocurrency. Because engineering and regulation in this area is evolving, if you are unsealed if securities laws apply to a cryptocurrency you are considering, contact FCNB .
There are income tax implications in using cryptocurrency to generate income, capital gains or to pay for goods or services. You should consult the CRA ’ s Guide for Cryptocurrency Users and Tax Professionals to ensure you understand how to comply with your taxes .

Utility Tokens

A utility program keepsake uses a distribute ledger or blockchain chopine to provide access rights to a particular intersection or service ( potentially one that is hush in development ), or to be used to purchase specific products or services. The supplier of the products or services typically issues the tokens, which can merely be used within the issuer ’ randomness network .

Security Tokens

security tokens are often sold or auctioned in an initial Coin Offering ( ICO ) or an initial Token Offering ( ITO ) that allows businesses to raise money to fund an mind or business model. The business offers security tokens in substitution for decree money or other crypto assets. The security token often comes with a stake in the plan and extra benefits, such as voting rights, profit partake or dividends. however, a project may not succeed, and investors should remember they are putting their funds toward supporting an mind of a business model – not a amply realized intersection or avail .

Non-Fungible Tokens

Non-fungible tokens ( NFTs ) are tokens that exist on a distribute ledger or blockchain, which record ownership of a singular palpable or intangible object – such as a birdcall, a digital visualize, a television, architect clothing, etc. Non-fungible means these tokens can not be exchanged for one another ; each one is unique. NFTs are relatively new, even for crypto assets, and the regulative outline and marketplace for NFTs are quickly evolving .

Buying, Selling and Holding Crypto Assets

Initial Coin Offerings

security tokens may be sold or auctioned in an initial Coin Offering ( ICO ) or an initial Token Offering ( ITO ). These “ Token Generating Events ” are used to raise funds for an idea or a occupation model. interested supporters can buy tokens with regular currency or another cryptocurrency. The token probably has no value at the time you buy it but may be convertible in the future for a new cryptocurrency to be launched by the project, or a rebate or early rights to a product or service proposed to be offered by the project. Because there are no guarantees or certainty that the nominal will have any future value or that the undertaking will succeed, investors should be very cautious when buying into an ICO. The level of disclosure and information available is typically far less than would be available for a typical investing opportunity. Investors should be prepared to lose some, or all, of their original investment .
Depending on the circumstances of the ICO, the tokens may be securities. If they are, then they may be submit to securities police. If you are uncertain, if securities laws apply to the ICO or the tokens you are considering, contact FCNB .
ICOs are high risk, and their structure makes them fecund anchor for fraud and maltreatment. Anyone considering participating in an ICO or other token generating event should be wary of promises of guarantee returns, plagiarized or differently fudge investing documents, contracts or web site content, and fake or lack of information about the commercial enterprise and party leadership. If you are considering participating in an ICO or are unsealed about the validity of an ICO you are considering, we encourage you to seek professional advice or a second opinion .

Digital and Physical Wallets

You can purchase cryptocurrency directly, receive immediate rescue of the assets and deposit them into your digital wallet or physical data storage device. A digital wallet is an on-line service that stores your cryptocurrency and allows you to conduct transactions, such as buying goods or services, or trade or transferring your virtual currentness. You have sole control over your digital wallet, but risk losing access to your crypto assets if you forget your password, unintentionally delete your wallet or are the victim of hack .
Physical hardware devices designed for storing crypto assets, often referred to as “ coldness wallets, ” are often a batten way to store crypto assets because they are not connected to the internet. Anyone plan to hold big quantities or values of cryptocurrency or other crypto assets may want to consider cold wallet storehouse. These devices besides require you to remember and closely guard your password .

Crypto Asset Trading Platforms

Crypto asset deal platforms ( CTPs ) are on-line applications or systems that bring together buyers and sellers of crypto assets to facilitate transactions or trades .
Some CTPs provide a chopine for users to buy and sell crypto assets and receive immediate rescue of these assets into their own wallets. This means that the exploiter makes the buy and the platform has the duty to deliver the crypto assets directly to the person, who stores them in their own wallet, over which they retain entire control .
Some CTPs retain detention of the crypto assets in a wallet controlled by the CTP. This creates a addiction or reliance on the chopine by the user. The exploiter ’ mho crypto assets are stored on the platform and the platform retains control over the assets until the drug user transfers them off the platform, either into their own wallet or by receiving an equivalent value in decree currentness .
Depending on the model of the CTP, securities laws may apply, and the CTP may need to be registered or recognized by the allow securities regulator ( randomness ) as a securities or derivatives marketplace or commute. It ’ mho significant to know what the requirements are then you can do your homework before you sign up to use any deal platform. Review the Regulation of Crypto Assets section to learn more about how rule protects you. If you are uncertain if a CTP has to be registered, liaison FCNB. You can check adjustment by using the barren National Registration Search tool from the Canadian Securities Administrators .

Cryptocurrency Funds

Cryptocurrency investment funds allow you access to cryptocurrencies without directly purchasing, owning and trading the coins yourself .

Cryptocurrency ETF

A cryptocurrency exchange traded fund ( ETF ) works similarly to a regular ETF. alternatively of tracking an index, sector or commodity, a cryptocurrency ETF tracks one or more digital tokens.

Blockchain Funds

Blockchain funds are like to other investment funds that invest in a particular industry or sector of the economy. In this encase, blockchain funds invest merely in companies that have operations related to blockchain engineering .

Regulation of Crypto Assets 

Under New Brunswick securities law, an individual or firm must be registered with FCNB if they are in the business of deal or advising in securities or derivatives in New Brunswick, unless a registration exemption applies .
The regulative framework regarding crypto assets and crypto asset trading platforms is developing. This can leave purchasers, speculators and investors confused about when and if securities regulations apply. In some cases, the crypto asset is clearly a security – for case, a security system token that carries rights traditionally attached to common shares, such as voting rights and rights to receive dividends. In other cases, the crypto asset is a derivative – for exercise, a keepsake that rises or falls in measure based on the value of an underlying asset, such as the stock of a publicly traded company .
recently, the Canadian Securities Administrators, in collaboration with the investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada ( IIROC ), have issued guidance about the application of securities legislation and regulative requirements to crypto assets. hera are some scenarios in which securities jurisprudence may apply :

  • If crypto assets that are securities or derivatives are traded on a crypto asset trading platform, the CTP would be subject to securities legislation. In addition, if a CTP trades contracts or instruments that are derivatives based on crypto assets, the CTP would also be subject to securities legislation. 
  • A CTP does not provide immediate delivery of the crypto asset, creating an ongoing reliance and dependence on the platform by the user. If a CTP stores a user’s crypto assets in a wallet controlled by the platform, creating an ongoing reliance on the CTP to trade or transfer the crypto assets, this creates a contract subject to securities law. 
  • If an ICO issues security tokens, securities laws may apply.

This list is not exhaustive. A numeral of circumstances may trigger the lotion of securities legislation. As such, the application of securities legislation is often determined on a individual footing .
For more details about regulation of crypto assets and crypto asset trade platforms, please review the take after :

How does Regulation Help Investors? 

If a CTP is registered or recognized as a securities or derivatives marketplace or commute, it will be subject to certain requirements to provide a floor of protection. These include gamble management, disclosure and dealing honestly, fairly and in good faith with clients. You can check registration by using the spare National Registration Search cock from the Canadian Securities Administrators .
While registration exists to provide investors with an total layer of security system, precisely because a tauten, CTP or individual is registered does not mean they are without hazard. Always evaluate each opportunity and be sure you in full understand the asset and risks involved before you invest, purchase or speculate in cryptocurrency or early crypto assets .
If you are uncertain about regulative requirements of a crypto asset or CTP you are considering, contact FCNB before making any buy decisiveness .
Red Flag: When person selling a crypto asset or a related product suggests they don ’ t need to comply with regulations, be doubting .

Risks

several areas of risk associated with crypto assets exist, including high volatility, liquidity risk, and heightened potential for fraud. Before buying or selling crypto assets, consider the risks listed below. Anyone considering chew over, buying or deal crypto assets should have a clear agreement of the asset and the risks involved .
Volatility: Prices of crypto assets rise and fall dramatically, often driven by media or social media ballyhoo, and few constraints on price handling exist .
Liquidity: When trade on a crypto asset trade platform, the CTP may not have enough crypto assets to cover your order. There are besides no guarantees the demand for any given crypto asset will continue, which may make it unmanageable to transfer your crypto assets into decree money .
Online Risk: Crypto asset servicing providers and intermediaries may exist anywhere in the world. It can be difficult or even impossible to identify or locate the service provider or mediator and take any action if you have a trouble .
New Technology: As a relatively new technology, the public interest in or demand for crypto assets may not continue to grow or be sustainable. When a new crypto asset launches, much it is based on an idea – not a raise business model. There is no guarantee the project will succeed. There is besides no certainty that crypto assets will weather future changes and challenges related to technology development, regulative changes or political challenges .
Technical and Cybersecurity: Technology and platforms used for crypto assets, such as on-line wallet companies and exchanges, are susceptible to cybersecurity threats and hack, putting your deposits at risk. Crypto asset transactions are besides at risk of delayed or fail transactions, and loss of access to your digital wallet ( and your crypto assets ) if you lose your password .
Potential for Fraud: Any individual or company that trades or advises in securities or derivatives must be registered with FCNB. A CTP, depending on how it operates, may be subject to securities regulation. Some CTPs claim to be registered businesses, but this is not the same as being registered with a securities regulator. Always check registration with the National Registration Search tool .
recently, scammers have been offering investment opportunities that claim to provide guaranteed returns and recruitment bonus recompense packages. These are frequently red flags of imposter and should be approached with caution. Crypto assets are extremely explosive and guarantee returns in a crypto-related investment are highly unrealistic and improbable .
Report fraud immediately using our submit a Complaint tool. You should besides be mindful of the CRA ’ s steering on the tax discussion of cryptocurrency.

Avoiding Loss and Fraud

No investment is without risk, and crypto assets are particularly bad. While there ’ s no guarantee that you won ’ triiodothyronine suffer any losses when speculate, buying or deal crypto assets, here are some things to consider that may help you invalidate loss or imposter :

  • Check registration. Anyone who sells or provides advice in securities or derivatives in New Brunswick must be registered with FCNB. Check registration by using the free National Registration Search tool from the Canadian Securities Administrators. Report any unregistered or fraudulent activity to FCNB.
  • Do a quick internet search on the company to see if it has faced any disciplinary action.  
  • Check investor alerts to see if any regulators have issued warnings about the company:
    • FCNB
    • Canadian Securities Administrators
    • International Organization of Securities Commissions
  • Ensure any payment method you might use is secure and does not put your personal financial information at risk. Be cautious when sending money overseas. Once you transfer funds offshore it may be difficult or impossible to get your money back if there is a problem.
  • Do not buy, speculate or invest if you do not understand the technology, asset or risks involved.

watch for these common red flags that may indicate a crypto-related victimize :

  • Claims of regulatory exemption: When someone selling a crypto asset or a related product suggests they don’t need to comply with regulations, be skeptical. Don’t mistake business registration for registration with the securities regulator.
  • Guaranteed returns: Crypto-related scams often promise guaranteed daily returns. Crypto assets are volatile and guaranteed returns are incredibly unlikely.
  • Risk-free promises: Crypto assets have many risks associated with them. As with any investment, be sure you know the risks  you are exposed to before you speculate, buy or trade any crypto asset. 
  • Unsolicited, high pressure sales pitches and/or recruiting bonuses: Crypto-related scams typically make use of social media, relationships and high energy pitches of extreme returns to pressure you into buying. The goal is to make you feel afraid of missing out on an opportunity your friends are profiting from. Be very cautious of any crypto-related offer that comes to you through social media and is accompanied by bonus compensation plans for recruiting your friends. Some ICOs also promote aggressively through social media. Be skeptical if you receive an unsolicited crypto-related pitch.
  • Unregistered activity: Review our section on crypto asset regulation and make sure the company, platform or individual you are considering is properly registered if required. You can search registration using the free National Registration Search tool from the Canadian Securities Administrators. If you are uncertain about registration requirements or if securities laws apply to an offer, you can contact FCNB.

Learn more about common “ Red Flags of Fraud ”.

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