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Opinion | Cryptocurrency and anarchy

Cryptocurrency innovation on the chopping block in Canada — Jan. 30


Fergus Hodgson expresses concern our government will impede innovation and development with respect to blockchain, but then engages in misdirection by conflating blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is a platform that may someday become a useful next generation technology. Cryptocurrency (virtual currencies that employ this blockchain technology) is an application in its Wild West stage that, for the most part, is best suited to enabling commerce among those involved in activities our civilization deems unacceptable, such as drug running, human trafficking, arms dealing, money laundering, bribery, terrorism and tax evasion. Hodgson argues against all three recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance. He first presents what is effectively a straw man — terrorism. He then quotes the European Parliament that “virtual currencies may not present terrorist actors with substantial advantages …” which to me sounds no different than “virtual currencies may present terrorist actors …” According to Hodgson, we might as well capitulate when it comes to identifying individuals since “private wallets,” he says, are “impenetrable to government mandate.” Finally, he disparages our best practices model — New York State’s attempt to license crypto exchanges — as being a model for how to scare investors away and says Liechtenstein and Malta are better role models. Really? We need to urge our elected representatives to get out in front on this issue. Anarchy is scary.

Garnet Bruce

Waterloo


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