Canada has postponed its decision to regulate cryptocurrency on the grounds of the upcoming 2019 elections.
Reasons for the Postponement
The government of Canada has suspended its updated virtual currency and blockchain regulations which had been scheduled for release in Autumn 2018. Instead, there will be no publications in the Canada Gazette till late 2019.
One of the reasons for the postponement is the upcoming elections in 2019. In preparation for the polls, Canada’s government has suspended the updated regulations of digital currency, which will leave the present regulatory system standing until 2020. This is because, even after the publication, it will take another year before the new laws take effect.
Another reason for the suspension can be attributed to a large number of responses and comments by the public on the matter. Several comments were submitted to the Canadian government’s finance department giving recommendations.
One comment that stood out was the one from the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI). The BRI, in conjunction with 70 cryptocurrency participants, gave a report which pointed out the fact that of all developed countries, Canada was the only one without a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The report called for the Canadian government to imitate the U.S. SEC by forming a centralized regulatory body.
Regulatory Uncertainty Could Leave Canada Far Behind other Countries
Most people, however, have commented that the government’s delay could hinder its competitiveness in the ever-growing virtual currency market. Some countries have taken steps to become global cryptocurrency and blockchain technology hubs.
Malta, for example, has taken crucial steps to establish itself as the world’s ‘blockchain island’. In July 2018, three important blockchain laws were passed by the country’s parliament. In the same month, the island created two-way Bitcoin ATMs to arouse interest in the virtual currency among its citizens. Other countries like Japan and Thailand have also taken significant steps to provide regulatory clarity for their respective cryptocurrency markets.
Canada’s current decision might leave it several steps behind countries who are embracing the nascent technology and are putting policies in place to accommodate cryptocurrency startups and blockchain technology.
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