The crypto exchange landscape in Canada appears to be consolidating after Coinsquare, one of the country’s largest digital asset exchanges, acquired CoinSmart for an undisclosed amount.
On Thursday, Coinsquare announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all issued and outstanding shares of CoinSmart’s wholly-owned subsidiary Simply Digital. Once the deal is finalized, CoinSmart will own an approximate 12% stake in Coinsquare on a pro forma basis.
Shares of crypto exchange CoinSmart, which trades on the NEO Exchange, rose 67% on Friday, largely in response to the news.
This acquisition makes Coinsquare one of the largest crypto exchanges in Canada and expands its operational and business capabilities. Founded in 2014, Coinsquare has expanded its service offerings to include retail and institutional trading, crypto payment processing, and digital asset custody.
CoinSmart was co-founded in 2018 by Justin Hartzman, who also served as the company’s CEO. Following the acquisition, Hartzman is expected to join Coinsquare’s management team.
As a publicly traded company, CoinSmart publishes its financial statements quarterly. In its annual summary released April 1, the company reported gross revenue of $16.7 million in 2021, a 357% year-over-year increase. Retail transaction volume increased by 875%, likely reflecting Bitcoin (BTC) 2021 bull market.
Coinsquare is one of only two crypto exchanges operating in Canada to pre-register with their principal regulatory authorities as they strive to fully comply with securities laws. The pre-registration requirements have been established by the Canadian Securities Administrators, or CSAs, and allow crypto exchanges to remain operational while their full CSA applications are under review.
—CoinSmart (@CoinSmart) August 8, 2022
In an interview with Cointelegraph on the sidelines of the Futurist conference in Toronto in August, Coinsquare COO Eric Richmond explained that the registered crypto exchange with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, or IIROC, in November 2020.
Crypto adoption in Canada is on the rise, but like other countries, participation is largely based on underlying market conditions. According to a KPMG survey, adoption is also growth within institutional circles due to the perceived positive and innovative potential of crypto.