Where are we today, and where are we heading?

Digital currencies are quickly becoming more mainstream within the Canadian financial landscape. Alongside this increased adoption, Canada has been relatively successful at creating a stable regulatory environment. In 2014, Canada established itself as a leader in the global digital asset space when the Canadian Parliament became the first government in the world to pass a national law on digital currencies. Since then, Canadian regulators have remained fairly proactive in their approach toward cryptocurrency, taking a cautious-yet-optimistic stance in an attempt to promote innovation while still protecting investor interests.

Regulatory support for digital asset innovation

Especially in comparison to other international jurisdictions, which either impose stricter policies or harbor a more laissez-faire attitude, Canada’s supportive environment to cryptocurrency is reflected in some of the options offered to startups experimenting with digital asset technology.

For example, the Canadian Security Association’s (CSA) sandbox initiative supports financial technology (fintech) businesses seeking to offer innovative products by carefully vetting business models in live-testing environments. Similarly, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) LaunchPad works with financial service businesses to keep regulation aligned with digital innovation and encourage the development of products, services and applications that meet compliance standards required by securities laws.

In addition to these services aimed at innovators looking to collaborate directly with financial authorities in the context of their specific business model, regulators have also published broad, but comprehensive, guidance on navigating applicable legislative frameworks.

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