Canadian Web3 Council calls on Senate to examine how to “effectively harmonize” regulatory framework for digital assets

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Web3 Council to Senate: "Canada must not be left behind."

An advocacy group for Web3 technology in Canada is calling upon the Canadian Senate to convene “a forum for an open and comprehensive discussion on the role and governance of digital assets in Canada.”

The Canadian Web3 Council wants a comprehensive study on how to support and effectively harmonize Canada’s regulatory framework for digital assets.

“The Web3 sector has become needlessly politicized.”
– Canadian Web3 Council

The Canadian Web3 Council’s membership includes some of the biggest crypto, blockchain and FinTech startups in Canada. Among its membership it counts Wealthsimple, WonderFi, Dapper Labs, Ledn, and Shakepay.The council’s goal is to accelerate the growth of Web3 technology in Canada through policy innovation.

The non-profit trade association writes that a study is necessary as the federal Department of Finance is currently consulting on the digitalization of money. The Liberal federal government announced in November that the Department of Finance is launching targeted consultations with stakeholders on digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies.

In its letter, the group asserted that Canada prides itself on achieving the appropriate balance between technological innovation and effective regulatory oversight. The Canadian Web3 Council cited a recent poll by Nanos Research (which was carried out in conjunction with the council) showing that one in four Canadians hold digital assets, while thousands work in the Web3 economy.

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The Canadian Web3 Council maintained to the Senate that an increasing number of governments globally are recognizing blockchain technology and digital assets as innovative tools, and are developing policies that will pave the way for the future of the Web3 economy.

“Canada must not be left behind,” the council asserted.

The council also contended that the same Canadians who hold digital assets and work in the Web3 economy are also looking to Parliament for leadership on what it calls a “pressing economic issue.”

“Yet repeatedly, the Web3 sector has become needlessly politicized,” the council wrote.” “This politicization comes at the expense of a legitimate public policy debate about how to support the responsible growth of an industry that matters to Canada’s future.”

The council has previously argued that Canada lags other jurisdictions that are advancing policies and defining their approach to Web3. In support of its claim that Canada is falling behind on the Web3 front, the Canadian Web3 Council has previously cited United States (US) President Joe Biden’s executive order last year calling on the American government to research the risks and benefits of crypto and blockchain, and examine the potential of a US central bank digital currency. The council also cites the European Union’s crypto regulation efforts.

As well, the Canadian Web3 Council has also criticized what it called the needless politicization of the Web3 sector, a reference to a number of negative comments that greeted a comment from federal Conservative leader, Pierre Polievre after he suggested promoting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a way to fight inflation in Canada.

The Canadian Web3 Council asserted that Canadians have played a “critical role in building many of the most successful projects in blockchain, including the founding of Ethereum – a public network servicing a variety of decentralized applications. We are working to empower Canadians to recognize the economic and social benefits of this transformative technology.”

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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