Leaders in the blockchain space in Canada launched a nonprofit on March 29 to drive the country’s regulation of crypto assets in response to recent calls for federal regulation.
Founded by Connor Spelliscy and Jelena Djuric, both of whom have been instrumental in pushing the crypto industry forward in the region, the Canadian Web3 Council includes members from Wealthsimple, NFT business Dapper Labs, Ether Capital, and financial services firm Ledn.
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“As the industry has grown into a multi-trillion-dollar asset class, now is the time for government to work alongside industry leaders to ensure thoughtful policy is formed,” said a news release representing Spelliscy and Djuric. “Although there are regulatory challenges when it comes to this nascent industry, the Canadian Web3 Council can work alongside regulators to help them understand and navigate this complex space,” they added.
The first action for the nonprofit is to argue for a national cryptocurrency framework. Simultaneously, the Web3 Council will serve as a primary source of knowledge and skills, according to Spelliscy. “We want to work closely with Canadian policy-makers so they understand the technology and how it could benefit Canada,” he said. “The industry has its skeptics, but I’m optimistic that with more education on Web3, we can help them understand the technology’s potential.”
Indeed, Web3 has struggled to find allies amongst the top five banks in Canada, all of which view the emerging industry as too risky to offer even the most basic services.
Canada’s regulatory framework lags behind U.S. and European jurisdictions
Canadians have made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency space. Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, hails from Canada, and so do NFT projects like CryptoKitties and NBA TopShot. Regardless, Canada has fallen behind the U.S. and Europe regarding digital asset regulation, prompting calls from the Conservative party to regulate cryptocurrency at a federal level and creating the Web3 Council.
Mauricio Di Bartolomolo, a co-founder of Ledn, said that Canada needs a set of regulations, the breadth of which covers all the nuanced aspects of Web 3.0, instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.
Conservative leadership pro-crypto political campaign
Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has said that he would make it easier for Canadians to transact using crypto and for cryptocurrency firms to operate in Canada if he became Prime Minister. He aspires to make Canada “the Blockchain capital of the world” by legalizing crypto in Canada and voluntarily working with officials in different provinces to ensure regulatory harmony across jurisdictions.
In a recent press statement, he stated, “A Poilievre government would welcome this new, decentralized, bottom-up economy and allow people to take control of their money from bankers and politicians.”
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