Québécois Regulator Calls for Investors in Non-Compliant Blockchain Firm to Come Forward
Québec’s financial markets regulator has asked investors in the firm Laboratoire Blockchain to come forward, now that the firm and associated individuals face a sweep of injunctive orders over their alleged violations of securities laws. The appeal was made in an official statement published on March 18.
The AMF (l'Autorité des marchés financiers) states that the Québécois Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal (TMF) issued a series of injunctive orders against Laboratoire Blockchain (also known as Blockchain Lab) and three associated individuals — Jonathan Forte, Benjamin Forte and Nicolas Barbasch-Bouchard — on March 12.
The orders, issued due to alleged breaches of national securities laws, prohibit the defendants from all activities related to the promotion and transaction of securities. They also stipulate that the defendants must not dispose of any funds or cryptocurrencies, as well as any mining equipment or other relevant hardware, in their possession.
Moreover, the TMF has reportedly demanded that Blockchain Lab remove any promotional material or publication in connection with its activities, in particular from Facebook.
Anyone who invested in Blockchain Lab or used the defendants’ services is requested to contact a direct line for an AMF official no later than April 1, 2019.
This January, crypto derivatives trading platform BitMEX refuted media reports that had alleged that a regulatory crackdown from the AMF had prompted it to close Québécois accounts, stating that the regulator had been satisfied with the platform’s swift cooperation on all requests.
Québec has also made crypto headlines in recent weeks over a controversy in regard to electricity provisions for crypto miners. Earlier this month, the government stated it does not see the added value provided by the mining industry, and is not interested in providing low-cost power rates for miners via state utility Hydro-Québec. The latter, with its low cost power, had become increasingly popular with mining operators facing less advantageous conditions worldwide.