Cryptoassets are digital assets that are secured by means of cryptographic systems, including the blockchain system, that do not rely on a central authority and are based on algorithms agreed to by the majority of users. Innovation in cryptoassets has the power to transform the economy and many other areas of society.
Canada should be attracting billions of dollars of investment in this fast growing industry. However, we’ve seen Canada lose cryptoasset talent, innovators, and business to other leading jurisdictions like the European Union and the United States. Right now, we’re seeing government officials start to regularly discuss and set policy related to cryptoassets. At the same time, many officials aren’t deeply familiar with what cryptoassets are, or how they function.
This means we need to ensure the expertise of cryptoasset innovators and practitioners leads the way. They need to tell us what they need, or don’t need. This bill requires the Minister of Finance to formally ensure that cryptoasset experts are leading voices in policy development. It also requires her to develop a framework using their expertise that would ensure Canada remains an attractive place to attract and retain investment and talent, while protecting those who work with cryptoassets. Rather than prescribing any particular policy, this bill creates a mechanism to formally engage the expertise of cryptoasset talent in policy development.
This effort is the first of its kind in Canada and is overdue. Cryptoasset policy should focus on lowering barriers to entry into the sector, while protecting those working in the space, and minimizing the administrative burden and promoting innovation. These things only happen if cryptoasset innovators are driving policy and have a framework to encourage growth and investment. This bill aims to set Canada in the right direction to encourage the cryptoasset sector to grow.
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Michelle Rempel Garner is the Member of Parliament for Calgary Nose Hill.
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