Canada’s Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce is set to meet today (9th April) as part of a hearing that will aim to study the use of digital currency and feature notable members of the local community.
In attendance will be Haseeb Awan, co-founder of bitcoin ATM provider BitAccess; Joseph David, CEO of Calgary-based digital currency exchange CaVirtex; and Kyle Kemper and Victoria van Eyk, partners at Bitcoin Strategy Group, an organisation dedicated toward helping Canada’s bitcoin businesses develop their public image.
The in-person meeting is meant to educate the Senate committee on the benefits of bitcoin, as well as the different businesses that are providing bitcoin-based services, and is part of the group’s larger, 18-month study on the use of digital currencies.
Speaking about the event, BitAccess co-founder Haseeb Awan said:
“[The Bitcoin] industry will flourish with regulations in place, however everyone involved in the process needs to understand the protocol and implementations in detail before [regulating it].”
The event is scheduled to run from 4:15 pm to 6:15 pm local time. A full webcast of the event can be viewed here.
The study so far
The Senate committee is already actively studying the use of digital currencies, and has so far heard from a range of different individuals and entities with interest in the space.
The study was revealed on 25th March in a blog post by Senator Doug Black, who indicated that the committee has been charged with delivering its report on digital currencies at the end of June, 2015.
Said Black in the post:
“By analyzing the use and regulation of emerging digital currencies, such as bitcoin, the Senate can make an important contribution to keeping Canada ahead of the digital currency curve.”
To date, the Senate has heard from the Department of Finance Canada, the Bank of Canada and a professor from the University of Toronto, among others. However, this will be the first time the committee hears from members of the local digital currency business community.
The US Senate banking committee notably explored bitcoin in a similar manner in November of last year.
Bitcoin in Canada
Canada has already developed a robust bitcoin ecosystem, and is home to notable bitcoin projects and installations such as Bitcoin Decentral, a novel co-working and business development space, and the first operational bitcoin ATM.
Still, the local ecosystem, particularly its major exchanges, have faced operational difficulties due in part to a lack of regulatory clarity around bitcoin and digital currencies.
Further, recent news suggests the country’s major financial companies are waiting for more direction as to the government’s decision-making on this issue as well.
Victoria van Eyk will recap the day’s events for CoinDesk as part of an article to be published this week.
Image credit: Senate of Parliament Building, Ottawa Canada via Shutterstock