Landmark Report: Canadian Lawmakers Advocate for Comprehensive Blockchain Strategy
Canadian lawmakers' recent report has recognized blockchain, crypto, and mining as innovative industries with "significant, long-term" potential, in need of better regulation.
In September last year, the Canadian House of Commons Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) passed a motion to recognize that blockchain is an emerging technology with "vast potential to bring about innovation and efficiency gains in different industries."
That said, there was a need for better regulation, they argued, which could result in more investments and drive innovation across the Canadian economy.
Therefore, the INDU completed a comprehensive study that examined blockchain and crypto use cases in the country, holding five meetings, hearing 31 witnesses, and receiving six briefs.
The lawmakers have subsequently released 16 recommendations, namely that the Canadian government:
- recognize blockchain as an emerging industry with significant long-term economic and job-creation opportunities,
- be guided by the principle that individuals’ right to self-custody should be protected and that access to safe and reliable on and off-ramps should be defended and promoted,
- establish a national blockchain strategy that clarifies the policy direction and regulatory approach, and demonstrates support for the industry,
- call on a group of experts, entrepreneurs, academics, investors, and AI experts to set up a platform for information exchange and monitoring,
- pursue opportunities for international cooperation in the development of blockchain regulations,
- conduct pilot projects to help strengthen the ecosystem and recognize up-and-coming businesses,
- create a sandbox where entrepreneurs can test technologies unhindered by unadopted regulations,
- adopt a distinct regulatory approach to stablecoins, accounting for their unique regulatory challenges,
- adopt regulations to promote the establishment of federally regulated crypto custodians to meet crypto firms' demand for cold storage services,
- adopt measures for access to banking and insurance services for blockchain firms,
- establish a public awareness campaign to educate the public about crypto-related risks and the benefits of accessing crypto markets through regulated Canadian entities,
- launch a strategic initiative to develop skills and talent and support research,
- investigate ways to promote the adoption of blockchain technology in supply chains,
- undertake a study on the new opportunities this technology presents for electronic voting and the modernization of democratic institutions,
- investigate equity between provinces in the application of the Excise Tax Act to mining activities,
- maintain that digital asset mining constitutes a commercial activity and adopt a neutral and equitable position towards this growing industry.
"We are pleased to see that the committee recognizes the benefits, utility, and value of blockchain technology."
Per the exchange, the approach of the parliamentary committee is "forward-thinking," with the government willing to collaborate with the crypto/blockchain industry "on several fronts."
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