What is FINTRAC and why should I care?
FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) is Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing group. They are an independent agency that cooperates with Canada’s government through the Minister of Finance to show Canada’s leaders that businesses are operating in a legitimate way. Their overall goal as an organization is to “be recognized as a world-class financial intelligence unit in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”
What does this mean for bitcoin?
In a nutshell: adoption through heightened legitimacy. One of the biggest barriers bitcoin (and bitcoin businesses) face is legitimacy. Businesses that operate in a non-transparent manner (Mt. Gox) scare people out of even considering bitcoin as a currency. Government agencies are not going to proactively reach out to bitcoin businesses to partner with them; if bitcoin businesses want to be adopted, and for this innovation to truly ‘stick’, we need to actively pursue partnerships with key decision makers, such as FINTRAC.
Kyle Kemper, co-founder of and partner in Bitcoin Strategy Group, a Canadian Bitcoin consulting, government relations and strategic communications firm, says “This is a strong precedent being set. This is showing that bitcoin is now being taken very seriously. FINTRAC was not even interested before and now they are providing a framework for which [bitcoin businesses] can be approved. It sets an example for Canada and the world.”
When these strategic partnerships are solidified, consumers will begin to feel more comfortable with the idea and adoption of bitcoin. Consumers need to feel like businesses are open, transparent and doing good if they are to even consider getting involved in what is often considered a risky and volatile field. Businesses need to be like the protocol they love: transparent.
Why Vault of Satoshi continues to be a world-leader in Bitcoin adoption
Vault of Satoshi has always taken extra steps to work closely with important agencies to bring legitimacy to the bitcoin sphere. Both owners Mike Curry and Ryan van Berneveld understand that legitimacy is key to adoption and they put in the extra hours to ensure Canadians and the world see bitcoin for what it is: revolutionary.
Their partnership brings Bitcoin into the realm of “regular” currency exchanges. Vault of Satoshi “operates inside all Canadian regulations on financial services” and once again shows other exchanges the best way to do things to bring bitcoin forward in a legitimate way.
Vault of Satoshi has been working with FINTRAC since October 2013 on this registration. “It’s been an uphill battle,” Mike Curry, co-founder, says. “[Our approval] opens the door to many opportunities, including listing several other fiat currencies on our site. This also marks the beginning of our re-entry to the United States of America.”
VoS reluctantly pulled their services from the U.S.A. after deciding the “regulatory environment in the US [was] becoming increasingly hostile toward Bitcoin,” the company reflected in a Facebook status update on March 6th.
What other businesses can learn from Vault of Satoshi
I wrote a story about Vault of Satoshi a few months ago and described the values this business follows that allow them to pave the way for bitcoin adoption in Canada, namely clarity of purpose, legitimacy and cooperation. Once again, they are proving to us that they value and actively pursue legitimacy and cooperation to bring bitcoin to the mass adoption level.
Their cooperation with the very legitimate agency FINTRAC, along with their current efforts to file for their IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) license shows us again that they are “strongly committed to providing a legal, transparent and reliable exchange for… users.”
Other businesses need to follow suit by actively pursuing relationships with key industry players and regulators. Positive action is important right now; we cannot passively accept regulations forced upon us based on lack of education.
More information on Vault of Satoshi’sMTB registration
Registration number: M14807589
Date of registration: 2014-03-25
Date of expiration: 2016-04-30
Full Disclosure: I have not been retained or otherwise compensated by Vault of Satoshi to communicate this news.
Victoria is a partner at Bitcoin Strategy Group, and a contributor to Bitcoin Magazine, CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph. Victoria helps Bitcoin businesses with community development and marketing.