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Canada gov’t urged to roll out welcome wagon for blockchain innovators

A Canadian politician is pushing the federal government to take a leading role in assisting the development of the blockchain sector, potentially offering significant upside for domestic operators with expertise to offer.

Michelle Rempel Garner, Member of Parliament for the riding of Calgary Nose Hill, recently introduced Bill C-249, ‘an Act respecting the encouragement of the growth of the cryptoasset sector.’ The bill had the first of three necessary readings in the House of Commons on February 9.

The bill notes that “cryptoassets have significant economic and innovative potential for Canada” and calls on the Minister of Finance to “develop a national framework to encourage the growth of the cryptoasset sector and, in developing the framework, to consult with persons working in the sector who are designated by provinces and territories.”

C-249 doesn’t envision a heavy-handed approach to digital currency regulation, arguing that “policy must focus on lowering barriers to entry into the cryptoasset sector, protecting those working in the sector and minimizing the administrative burden.”

The government would seek input from private sector individuals “who have demonstrated experience working in the cryptoasset sector.” A report would then be drawn up based on submissions made by such individuals and would set out a draft framework for advancing digital currency and blockchain projects.

Canadian blockchain companies were quick to offer their support for Rempel Garner’s legislative efforts. Jaime Leverton, CEO of Toronto-based Hut 8 Mining Corp (TSX: HUT|OTCQX: HUTMF), issued a statement saying his group was already “actively consulting with federal decisionmakers” in the hope of making Canada “a world leader in Blockchain innovation.”

Hut 8’s clients include Canadian Stock Exchange-listed enterprise blockchain transaction processor TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE:TAAL | FWB:9SQ1 | OTC: TAALF). TAAL, which operates exclusively on the BSV blockchain, recently mined the all-time largest Bitcoin block, a 3.8GB behemoth containing over 188,000 transactions.

By continually demonstrating BSV’s unbounded scaling capacity—not just on a blackboard but ‘in the wild’—TAAL has positioned itself as one the most qualified companies to offer the Canadian government guidance on advancing blockchain-related initiatives.

There are a few caveats that warrant mentioning, including the fact that Rempel Garner is a member of the Conservative Party, which currently sits in opposition to the governing Liberals. ‘Private members bills’ of this type generally face an uphill slog to ever becoming law, as demonstrated by the decade-long effort to overturn Canada’s prohibition on single-game sports betting.

There’s also the fact that the Liberals currently control a minority government, meaning at all times they are under threat of a potential confidence vote. That would require the Liberals garnering the support of another party in the Commons, otherwise the government would fall and bills like C-249 would similarly fall by the wayside as parliament adjourns and the country launches a national election.

And the threat of an imminent election seems ever more likely given the current uproar sparked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s much-criticized response (or lack thereof) to the anti-vaccine mandate protesters currently occupying areas outside Parliament and in other cities across the country.

Regardless, whichever party is in power six months from now, they’d do well to remember that opportunities like this don’t last forever. There’s a chance here for Canada to stake out a position as a forward-looking regulatory climate for technology innovators, which would serve to attract investment from blockchain operators that the Canadian economy would surely welcome right now. Don’t blow it, guys.

Watch: CoinGeek New York presentation, TAAL: Leading the Future of Blockchain Transaction Processing

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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