Kevin O’Leary-Backed WonderFi Buys Another Canadian Crypto Exchange
Crypto platform WonderFi Technology said on Monday it had agreed to buy Coinberry, one of Canada’s biggest crypto platforms. The move marks another step in WonderFi’s attempt to consolidate Canada’s crypto majors.
WonderFi, which is backed by celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary, will pay about $38.6 million in stock for the platform, Bloomberg reported. Coinberry is among the six crypto trading platforms authorized by security regulators to operate in the Canada’s most populous province, Ontario.
The deal, if approved, would give WonderFi ownership over two out of six authorized crypto operators in Canada. Apart from O’Leary, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is also a strategic investor in the crypto firm.
WonderFi on a Canadian buying spree
Coinberry has about $100 million assets under custody, and has managed over $1 billion in transactions. The exchange has over 220,000 users, Bloomberg said. Coinberry shareholders will receive about 29.1 million WonderFi shares under the deal.
Earlier this year, WonderFi had signed a deal to purchase Canadian crypto platform BitBuy in a cash and stock transaction. The deal closed in March.
WonderFi’s aggressive expansion into Canada is driven by a largely untapped market. According to data from research firm triple A, only 3.2% of Canadian own cryptocurrency.
But Canadian financial regulators have also proven to be challenging to foreign entrants to the country.
Canada a tough crypto nut to crack
Earlier this year, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, began formally winding down its operations in Ontario. The move came after nearly a year of repeated clashes between Binance and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
The OSC had issued strict reporting guidelines for crypto entities- something which Binance seemed unwilling to cooperate with. But the regulator has also maintained a conservative approach towards other crypto entities.
So far, Coinberry and BitBuy are among the only six crypto exchanges authorized to operate in the province. The other four exchanges are all local players, indicating the OSC’s hesitance towards foreign entrants.
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