The Canadian Senate has officially taken a pro-Bitcoin stance with regards to future national regulations of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The official Canadian Senate report titled “Digital Currency: You Can’t Flip This Coin! Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce” explains how the government body views digital currency, and how it will be regulated, or not, going forward.
Canada Will Allow Bitcoin to Develop
The Canadian Senate has spent the better part of the last year reviewing the role of digital currencies will have on the future of economics in the nation. Learning how the currency and underlying technology works currently, what they may be able to provide in the future. The risks for crime, terrorism and fraud, plus the protection of citizens from “cybercrimes” were also weighed heavily in this decision. Their reports’ opening assessment of Bitcoin is as follows:
Block chain technology offers a secure alternative to consumers who do not wish to see their personal information fall prey to the Internet. It offers the ability to transact on the Internet without sharing their personal information with third parties whose databases make juicy targets for hackers. Instead, block chain technology gives consumers the power to provide their own hack-proof online security.
This victory for Bitcoin comes after issues in Russia with the banning of Bitcoin information websites and Australia levying onerous tax regulations upon it have filled the news. Australia has also taken counsel with Andreas Antonopoulos to learn more and hear a proponent’s view of what Bitcoin can do for a domestic and global economy. Antonopoulos had this to say about Bitcoin to the Canadian Senate last October:
Bitcoin does not force users to surrender their identity with every transaction and put their trust in a chain of supposedly vetted intermediaries who must be trusted to control access to, securely store, and protect transaction data…..because in Bitcoin trust is not vested in central actors, there is no need for centralized regulation and oversight.
Canada has seen strong Bitcoin interest and economic growth since 2013, including the creation of a Bitcoin Embassy in Montreal. With 69 Bitcoin ATMs populating the country, Canada holds the second-highest number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world for any country (only the United States has more.) Canada also gained its first Bitcoin exchange, Cavirtex, almost four years before the U.S., in 2011.
Canada’s pro-Bitcoin stance may spur bitcoin price speculation worldwide, business creation, and adoption of the currency and block chain technology within Canada going forward. The Canadian Senate report succinctly provided a conclusion paragraph with regards to how they sum up their position on digital currency technology:
We believe that the best strategy for dealing with crypto-currencies is to monitor the situation as the technology evolves; that Canada Revenue Agency and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) must prepare to navigate and use block chain technology; that this technology offers new ways to protect the personal information of Canadians; and, finally, that this technology requires a light regulatory touch – almost a hands off approach. In other words, not necessarily regulation, but regulation as necessary.
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