Firms operating bitcoin ATMs and trading platforms in Québec have been told that they must obtain a license from the Canadian province's Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).
The requirement comes after the regulator tweaked its Money-Services Business Act, which requires that businesses involved in areas such as currency exchange, fund transfers, and the operation of private ATMs apply for a license.
The AMF says that while it will now oversee bitcoin businesses, it does not regulate actual virtual currencies, and does not protect consumers from any associated risks, such as volatility.
"Quebeckers should therefore be careful with virtual currency transactions as they may incur losses that are not covered under current compensation or deposit insurance plans," says a statement.
Last June Canada's parliament passed a bill bringing in comprehensive regulation of digital currencies, classing firms dealing in the likes of bitcoin as 'money services businesses', subject to record keeping, verification procedures, suspicious transaction reporting and registration requirements.