(MENAFN – The Peninsula) A Senate committee in Canada urged the government on Friday to “tread carefully” in regulating Bitcoin and similar digital currencies, so as not to stifle their as yet “unimagined applications.”
The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce carried out the study on so-called “crypto-currencies” – digital money that uses encryption – at the behest of the minister of finance.
Hundreds of crypto-currencies – digital currencies that rely on encryption – have been created since 2009. Bitcoin is by far the most popular.
The committee urged the Canada Revenue Agency and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to prepare for the growing use of such virtual currencies.
It also called for the government to educate the public about the tax obligations of digital currencies when received as income, held as an investment, or when used to purchase goods and services.
It added: “This technology requires a light regulatory touch, almost a hands-off approach. In other words, not necessarily regulation, but regulation as necessary.”
The Senate’s conclusions were praised by the Canadian Bitcoin Alliance, which lauded it for seeing “the potential it (Bitcoin) has for Canadians.”
The committee over the past 18 months