Canadian Lawmakers Call for National Blockchain, Crypto Strategy

The government of Canada should recognize blockchain as an emerging industry with "significant" long-term economic and job creation opportunities, a lawmaker committee on industry and tech said.

AccessTimeIconJun 29, 2023 at 1:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 29, 2023 at 1:24 p.m. UTC

A committee of lawmakers in Canada is calling for the government to set up a national blockchain strategy that clarifies the country's regulatory approach and "demonstrates support for the industry," according to a set of policy recommendations published in June.

The first of 16 recommendations by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology calls for the government to recognize the blockchain industry's "significant long-term economic and job creation opportunities."

The committee's report, which followed a government-mandated study of blockchain technology, includes a call for future policy on digital assets to "be guided by the principle that individuals’ right to self custody should be protected and that ease of access to safe and reliable on and off ramps should be defended and promoted."

Although Canada's approach to regulating digital assets has been quite strict, with a promise to tighten rules for crypto exchanges following the collapse of high-profile enterprises such as FTX in 2022, trading platform Coinbase recently praised the country's approach to supervising the sector as it battles regulators in the U.S.

The lawmaker committee also wants the government of Canada to set up a bespoke regulatory regime for stablecoins that distinguishes them from other crypto assets – similar to that of the European Union's Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), which treats stablecoins as its own category of assets.

Other recommendations include setting up regulations for crypto custody platforms, measures to allow blockchain firms to access banking services and ensuring fair taxation of crypto mining activities.

"While many emphasized Canada’s strong regulatory safeguards, such as provincial securities regulation and federal anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing obligations, witnesses stated that governments need to partner with industry to better understand this rapidly evolving sector and enact regulations that protect consumers without unnecessarily hindering innovation," the committee said in its report.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.

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