Canadian Senate Rules in Favor of ‘An Almost Hands-Off Approach’ to Bitcoin

The Canadian Senate has decided to protect Bitcoin from massive government regulation opting to approach the new technology with “a light regulatory touch – almost a hands-off approach.”

After many months of thoughtful deliberations, the legislative body released 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.”

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 including counsel with established Bitcoin expert and advocate Andreas Antonopoulos.

Learning how the currency and underlying technology currently works, 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 report’s 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 cryptocurrency filling the headlines.

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 explained 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 a high amount of Bitcoin interest and business growth over the last two years, including the opening of a Bitcoin Embassy in Montreal. It also hosts almost 70 Bitcoin ATMs around the country, the highest number in the world for any country after the United States, which has 133.

“The conclusions of the Senate Banking Report on digital currencies are extremely positive for all Canadians,” said Anthony Di Iorio, President of Decentral Consulting Services and Ethereum Co-Founder, to CoinTelegraph. “Recommendations from the committee that the government explore the vast potential bitcoin and blockchain technology while cautioning against regulations that might hinder its growth and potential have the great opportunity to solidify Canada as a leader in the digital currency and cryptocurrency space.”

With Canada’s Senate taking a very pro-Bitcoin stance, this may foster business creation and adoption of the currency and blockchain technology in Canada going forward. The Canadian Senate report concluded with these words in regards to their official stance on digital currency (Bitcoin):

“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.”

What do you think of Canada’s decision to avoid much Bitcoin regulation, and let it develop unabated? Share above and comment below. 

Canadian Senate

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