Why is Binance leaving Canada?
As per usual, the government has been slow to regulate an emerging industry. This means regulatory uncertainty for companies operating in gray areas. And Binance has been operating in a massive gray (leaning towards black) area.
It’s not surprising, with bigger fish to fry (like the SEC) that Binance is looking to cut some legal bills and are pulling out of a relatively small market. Let’s be honest, Canada probably accounted for less than 5% of their volume.
Does this leave a hole in the Canadian crypto marketplace?
Yes, a bigantic hole. But, that might not necessarily be a bad thing. Binance has been the number one place to buy and sell (let’s call it gamble on) illegal securities in the world (I’m talking about most cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin) which has caused unknowing and unsuspecting Canadians to lose money, as well as a bunch of unknown and unsuspecting potential lawsuits for Binance. This is not good for anyone.
Better referred to as custodial crypto casinos, they (Binance and platforms like Binance) make it easy to gamble without knowing your gambling. While online gambling is newly legal in Canada – and I’m a big proponent for the free market doing what it wants – but I do not think Binance did anyone any favours while they operated here.
How could it work better?
For starters, it should be non-custodial. While Binance hasn’t disappeared with anyone’s money yet, they could have. Just as easily as we’re writing about Binance leaving Canada we could be writing about another rug pull where customer’s funds were mishandled and are now lost. The benefit of cryptocurrencies is that you can own and control your private keys. DON’T GIVE THAT POWER AWAY! Platforms like Binance (and frankly, many others in Canada) that take custody of your tokens should take a long, hard look in the mirror and stop doing that.
Moving past the custody, they should have a lot more education about the tokens that trade. If you think of a traditional finance exchange, each company has a profile with links to history, financials, news releases and general information. Further, there is a strict gate-keeping process to keep the obvious and not-so-obvious scams out of the hands of the general public. Binanace (and other crypto casinos) has none of that. It blows my mind that we don’t hold these platforms accountable when they list, sell and profit off blatant and obvious scams.
What should people do then?
When you are gambling, there should be some friction between you and your life savings, and some education barriers that exist so you don’t accidentally YOLO into peepee at the top (maybe it’s pepe?). At minimum, I think crypto casinos should be self-custody focused. If you are adamant on playing the crypto casino, find a platform that doesn’t hold your keys.
So, the next time you want to try to time the market, might I suggest placing a bet on your favourite sports team? An insane sequence parlay probably has better odds to 100x your money than the meme token some TikTok influencer told you about. That said, if you insist on gambling in the crypto markets, please self custody your funds, earn the ability to use a DEX (research and learning) and for goodness sake make sure your stack of bitcoin is big enough.