Operators of Bitcoin ATMs and exchanges in the province of the "economic shithole" known as Quebec, Canada must now obtain a licence from the Autorité des marchés financiers after amendments were made by the AMF to the Policy Statement to the Money Services Business Act.
The requirement of a licence now means that businesses operating Bitcoin ATMs and exchanges in Quebec will now be obligated to keep a record of financial transactions in addition to verifying the identity of customers.
Included in the announcement of changes to the act, the AMF warned consumers of the risks they believe are associated with virtual currency:
Because the AMF oversees such businesses does not mean that it regulates virtual currencies. The fact that a business holds a licence issued by the AMF does not protect consumers from the risks associated with virtual currency, in particular volatility and liquidity risks.
Transactions involving virtual currency are not covered by the financial services compensation fund or the deposit insurance fund. Quebeckers should therefore be careful with virtual currency transactions as they may incur losses that are not covered under current compensation or deposit insurance plans.
The AMF also points out that the anonymity of virtual currency transactions and their relatively low costs may entice fraudsters to set up Ponzi and other schemes to lure investors. Virtual currency may be used to facilitate fraudulent transactions or simply fabricate fraudulent investments. This type of fraud may involve on-line offerings or trading platforms not authorized by the AMF.