While the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) continues to defend its investment of between “$150 and $300 million” in Celsius Network, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) continues its audits and is still trying to understand the activities of this company.
The CEO of the AMF, Louis Morisset, indicated yesterday in the public finance committee to the member for Québec solidaire, Ruba Ghazal, that his organization was still collaborating with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States to light on Celsius.
In October, the CDPQ completed a US$400 million financing round with growth capital firm WestCap for the “global cryptocurrency interest and lending platform.” Then, the loot jumped to $750 million in the following weeks thanks to new investors.
Arrest in Israel
In the fall, the AMF said it was already keeping an eye on Celsius. In November, Israeli police arrested the chief financial officer.
After more than six months of verification, the watchdog of Quebec’s financial markets is still unable to confirm whether Celsius has operations or clients in the province. It is also still too early to establish guidelines to oversee this new industry.
First understand what they do
“We continue to first understand what they are doing. […] It may be that what they are doing at the moment would not comply with the regulations in force. They issue real estate securities, they distribute securities, ”said the CEO, questioned about the investigation by his troops.
Even if a vagueness persists, the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, mentioned, for his part, not having the intention of interfering in the management of the Caisse’s portfolio. “It’s not my role,” he said.
On Wednesday, the president of Quebec’s wool socks, Charles Émond, once again had to defend his organization’s investments in Celsius at the microphone of Paul Arcand, at 98.5.
“This is not an investment in cryptocurrency. […] We have invested in a business model which is blockchain,” he said. Celsius is a global leader with billions in revenue,” he added.
During the study of budget appropriations, the AMF was also asked about cryptocurrencies, an industry that is gaining in popularity and attracting many young investors looking to make a quick buck.
Although it urges caution, the management of the AMF concedes that these new financial products are perhaps an “asset of the future”. This is why management is currently working with other Canadian organizations to regulate more stable cryptos, such as bitcoin.
“Our perspective is that the phenomenon is not destined to disappear unless a technological catastrophe or another major issue crystallizes in the coming weeks or months,” noted Mr. Morisset.
The AMF also plans to soon publish on its site the identity of the six cryptocurrency platforms that have agreed to show their credentials.
“There are currently only six platforms in Canada that are registered. About fifty other platforms have applied to obtain registration,” concluded Mr. Morisset.
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The workings of Celsius Network still mysterious for the AMF
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