Canadian Financial Regulators Take Action Against Einstein

On Monday (November 4), the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced that it had taken action against the Vancouver-based Einstein Exchange.

The BCSC is an independent (self-funded) provincial government agency that reports to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (aka "BC Legislature") through the minister responsible for the administration of Canada's Securities Act. 

Via a press release issued on November 4, the BCSC reported that on November 1 it had applied to the Supreme Court of British Columbia for "an order appointing an interim receiver to preserve and protect any assets of Einstein Exchange," and that the Court had "granted the application and appointed Grant Thornton Limited as interim receiver." 

The Einstein Exchange's domain (einstein.exchange) seems to have been seized since the firm's website is no longer accessible. The exchange's customers are advised to send email to "[email protected]" or to visit Grant Thornton's website for information about their accounts, the exchange, or the receivership.

According to the papers filed in court, the BCSC took action against Einstein Exchange after getting many complaints by customers who were having difficulty in getting access to their funds on the custodial exchange. On October 31, the BCSC was "told by a lawyer representing the trading platform that it planned to shut down within 30 to 60 days due to a lack of profit." The Einstein Exchange apparently owes its customers CAD 16.3 million (roughly USD 12.4 million).

Accounting/consulting firm Grant Thornton took control of Einstein's premises on November 1.

The BCSC also pointed out that it "has not authorized any crypto-asset trading platforms to operate as an exchange."

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