Bitcoin Electronic Crypto Currency Exchange Concept Illustration

A public hearing that could prove crucial to the development of regulated cryptocurrency investments in Canada has been slated for April 3.

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) issued a notice of hearing on March 21, setting down a date next month to hear an application from Toronto-based investment fund manager 3iQ Corp., which is seeking to overturn an OSC decision denying approval for a proposed fund that would invest in Bitcoin.

Last week, the firm filed an application with the OSC requesting an order setting aside the regulator’s original decision to deny a receipt for its proposed Bitcoin Fund’s prospectus, and asking for an order approving the prospectus.

When the OSC declined to approve the fund in February, it questioned the suitability of cryptocurrency as an underlying investment for a fund that would be sold to retail investors. In its decision, the regulator expressed concerns about the lack of regulation for cryptocurrencies, and about the significance of various risks, including liquidity, custody, hacking and the potential for fraud.

In its application to the OSC, 3iQ argued that its proposed fund addressed all these issues, and suggested that the regulator was setting tougher standards for its fund than the standards applied to existing funds that invest in alternative assets.

The firm also said in its application that retail investors are better served by being able to gain exposure to Bitcoin through a regulated investment fund, rather than on an unregulated exchange.

Now, 3iQ will get a chance to test its arguments at a hearing slated to take place at OSC’s offices in Toronto.