The government of Canada is continuing to delay the regulations for blockchain and crypto that have been on the cards for a while now. Although the final version was due to be released by fall 2018, the government has now said that they cannot be expected any time sooner than the later part of next year, when they’ll be printed in the Canada Gazette. With the federal government in a tizzy over the upcoming 2019 elections, the final set of regulations for the crypto industry has been postponed for quite some time, which means that the present regulations will continue to be applied even in the first part of 2020 since a new regulatory regime takes at least a year to be implemented.
While some firms are finding it reassuring that the government has essentially avoided implementing the more rigid rules of the regulation draft that came out in June 2018, others are worried that this might hurt the competitive position of these firms in the global crypto scene, especially since many other countries like Switzerland are all but rolling out the red carpet to the industry. The Blockchain Association of Canada (BAC) seemed to disagree with the latter opinion when they welcomed the government decision to move forward carefully with something so nuanced.
Many participants opined that the fact that so many promising responses had had been submitted to the government by the crypto and blockchain organizations invited to give an opinion, had served to make the task even more complex and time-consuming for the government. Organizations such as the Money Services Business Association and others were asked to send in comments and meet with officials of Finance Canada in drafting prospective regulations. The comments included a report from BRI (Blockchain Research Institute) from Toronto which has a great deal of influence in the industry. In their report, BRI recommended that it was necessary to have federal regulatory body created on the lines of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the USA. To support its view, BRI offered a detailed report, which also pointed out the fact that Canada is the only federal democracy in the developed world that lacks a central regulator for finance.
Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare Exchange, also remarked on the need to have cleared regulations and better regulatory control. While lauding the role the government has played all this while, he commented that it was not such a wise decision to postpone the regulations. Toronto lawyer Evan Thomas also seemed to echo his views on regulations and accountability, saying that it was imperative to introduce solid regulations for the industry, delaying which could make a poor competitive case for the Canadian crypto businesses.
Clearly, the crypto world is divided in its opinions about the delay but they do seem to be inclined towards a hint of concern and apprehension for the competitive position of the space.