Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens

CSA Securities

Montréal  The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published CSA Staff Notice 46-308 (pdf - 130 KB)This link will open in a new windowUpdated on June 11, 2018Tokens Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provides additional guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including ones that are commonly referred to as “utility tokens.”

“Since publishing initial guidance, we have engaged with numerous businesses considering token offerings and have found that most of these offerings involve securities,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Our notice sets out additional guidance based on situations we have seen to date and common inquiries we have received from businesses and their advisors.”

CSA Staff Notice 46-308 outlines specific situations that may have an implication on the presence of one or more of the elements of an investment contract in the context of an offering of coins or tokens.

This notice supplements the CSA’s August 2017 publication of CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings, which outlines how securities law requirements may apply to initial coin offerings, initial token offerings, cryptocurrency investment funds and the cryptocurrency platforms trading these products.

Any business planning to raise capital through an offering of coins or tokens should consider whether it involves the distribution of a security. In order to avoid costly regulatory surprises, businesses are encouraged to consult qualified securities legal counsel about the potential application of, and possible approaches required to comply with, securities legislation. Businesses should also contact their local securities regulatory authority to discuss possible flexible approaches to complying with securities laws, including time-limited exemptive relief.

TheCSA Regulatory Sandbox This link will open in a new window is an initiative of the CSA to support financial technology (fintech) businesses seeking to offer innovative products, services and applications in Canada. The CSA has granted, through the CSA Regulatory Sandbox, exemptive relief from certain securities law requirements to firms in the context of offerings of coins or tokens that involve the distribution of securities, subject to conditions to ensure adequate investor protection.

CSA staff monitor cryptocurrency offerings activity and will continue to take action against businesses that do not comply with securities laws. 

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

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For more information:

CSA member name

Point of contact

Phone number

Autorité des marchés financiers

Sylvain Théberge


Alberta Securities Commission

Hilary McMeekin


British Columbia Securities Commission

Alison Walker 


Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan

Shannon McMillan


Financial and Consumer Services Commission, New Brunswick

Sara Wilson


Government of Prince Edward Island, Superintendent of Securities

Steve Dowling


Manitoba Securities Commission

Jason (Jay) Booth


Nova Scotia Securities Commission

David Harrison


Nunavut Securities Office

Jeff Mason


Office of the Superintendent of Securities, Newfoundland and Labrador

Craig Whalen


Office of the Superintendent of Securities, Northwest Territories

Tom Hall


Office of the Yukon Superintendent of Securities

Rhonda Horte


Ontario Securities Commission

Kristen Rose