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CPA Ontario Launches Thought Leadership Series with Whitepaper on Cryptocurrency

Recommends Ontario CPAs should refrain from working on non-security token offerings

TORONTO, Ontario – (May 10, 2018) –Today, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) released “Navigating the Brave New World of Cryptocurrency and ICOs”, a whitepaper exploring the emergence and development of cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in Ontario. The whitepaper marks the launch of CPA Ontario’s new Thought Leadership Series, initiatives intended to provide insights to members on emerging issues in Ontario.

Blockchain technology continues to capture the imagination of technologists around the world and, in the last year, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) of cryptocurrency tokens have exploded in popularity. This whitepaper aims to advance a dialogue amongst the broader business community, many of which are CPAs, on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, from accounting and audit standards to challenges navigating the current regulatory environment.

CPA Ontario is a strong advocate of financial innovation and believes that the growing ICO marketplace presents an opportunity for new sources of capital formation for technology and growth-oriented companies. ICOs present exciting opportunities for CPAs, given their broad range of roles as business and strategic leaders. However, these opportunities also bring challenges and risks. CPAs need to balance innovation, capital formation, and protection of the public interest.

After an in-depth review of the growing ICO marketplace and cryptocurrency space, CPA Ontario identified significant risk, specifically with the ICO market which is highly speculative and susceptible to fraud and market manipulation. Until regulation has caught up to innovation, CPA Ontario is recommending that CPAs in the province refrain from any work on the issuance of “non-security tokens.”

“A sustainable ICO market could support Ontario’s growing innovation economy,” said Carol Wilding, FCPA, FCA and President and CEO of CPA Ontario, “but our members are facing increasing demands to navigate this new marketplace without clear, transparent regulation. While this paper offers some guidance, we are advocating for smart – not onerous – regulation that continues to support innovation while protecting the public interest.”

The whitepaper is publicly available on the CPA Ontario website at www.cpaontario.ca/cryptocurrency.

On May 16, 2018, CPA Ontario and The Economic Club of Canada will host a lunchtime panel discussion with Som Seif, President and CEO of Purpose Investments, Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare and Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director of OSC LaunchPad, moderated by Eric So, Co-Founder of Globalive Technology Partners Inc. to discussion the whitepaper, as well as the rapidly changing ICO marketplace. Tickets can be purchased here: https://goo.gl/P6FTwW.

About the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

CPA Ontario protects the public interest by ensuring its members meet the highest standards of integrity and expertise. CPA Ontario serves and supports its more than 89,000 members and 19,000 students in their qualification and professional development in a wide range of senior positions in public accounting, business, finance, government, not-for-profits and academe. Chartered Professional Accountants are valued by organizations of all types and sizes for their financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. For information on the profession, visit cpaontario.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Scott Davidson
Teneo Strategy
647-793-8815
scott.davidson@teneostrategy.com

Stephanie Woodward
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
416-969-4281 or 647-218-8224
swoodward@cpaontario.ca