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Blockchain, Bolivre in Canada: Ottawa ‘Capital of the World’

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Canadian political news thanks to the election of Pierre Polievre as leader of the Conservative Party and the Liberal government’s main opposition to Justin Trudeau’s government.

Poilievre is a Canadian politician who has been a Member of Parliament since 2004. He has many connections with libertarianism: the individual, not the government, is responsible for maintaining their own welfare. This line of thinking is largely consistent with how cryptocurrency and Bitcoin (BTC / USD) advocates feel.

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As it turns out, Poilievre is a blockchain enthusiast who wants Canada to become the “blockchain capital of the world.” But what is Ottawa’s position in the emerging digital economy?

Poilievre: Canadians should be “free to use other money.”

The Bank of Canada, Canada’s central bank, has failed in its task of controlling inflation, while rising interest rates appear to be a regular occurrence.

Polievre went so far as to say the central bank is “ruining the Canadian dollar.” Instead, he added, Canadians should have “the freedom to use other currencies like bitcoin.”

Polievre really does put his money where his mouth is. In fact, he once said that bitcoin is an asset that allows Canadians to escape inflation (a debate topic he regrets talking about… have you seen the recent bitcoin news?).

Standard financial information for the politician shows he holds at least $10,000 in a Canadian bitcoin exchange-traded fund called Purpose Bitcoin, one of the best bitcoin ETFs you can buy. So, it is consistent with the claim.

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He explains his views on Bitcoin (after using his wallet to buy a shawarma sandwich) in this interesting YouTube video I recommend you watch.

Crypto means “less financial control” to politicians

Polievre explains a Political document As of March 28, 2022, Canadians want to live in a world where politicians and bankers have “less financial control” over the population.

Instead, Canadians should have greater financial control and “own cryptocurrencies, tokens, smart contracts and decentralized funds.”

what is the time? Simply put, the Trudeau government is doing a great job of “destroying the Canadian dollar,” and according to Bolivre, bitcoin offers an alternative source of income to protect itself from rising costs and a weakening currency.

Regarding the broader cryptocurrency market, he wrote:

The blockchain economy is about more than new forms of money. It’s about decentralizing control of our economic decisions. A Poilievre government would welcome this new bottom-up decentralized economy and allow people to control their money away from bankers and politicians. It will expand the choice and lower the prices of financial products and create thousands of jobs for engineers, programmers, developers and other entrepreneurs.

Under a conservative government, cryptocurrencies would be legal and treated as a commodity (i.e. gold) with the same taxes and regulations. The logic here is that “what is legal with Canadian dollars must be legal with cryptocurrencies and vice versa”.

Poilievre’s comments give the impression that Canada is indeed lagging behind its global peers in embracing the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Either it’s true or it’s just party politics. So what is it?

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IoTeX CEO: Canada is already a blockchain-friendly country

I know of several Canadian blockchain projects that are gaining attention, but hard data is hard to find.

I reached out to Raullen Chai, CEO and founder of IoTeX (IOTX / USD) for his opinion. Having lived and studied in Canada before embarking on an interesting career in Silicon Valley, he has some insights, culminating in co-founding a project to bring the ideal power of blockchain to devices, tops and NFTs.

You can read my full interview with Roulan for Invesse 2021 here.

Canada has been a growing hub for blockchain innovation since at least 2018, Tsai told me in an interview for this article. Today, there are over 550 blockchain projects and 330 cryptocurrency-related startups in Canada. In fact, the CEO notes that Canada is very “blockchain friendly” in its current form.

In fact, IoTeX partnered with a Canadian startup called Morpheus. The network is developing its blockchain technology to “disrupt the global trillion-dollar supply chain market and make international trade more efficient.”

Meanwhile, the truckers’ protest in early 2022 and the Liberal government’s move to seize the bitcoin wallets of those who funded the disruptions are unlikely to tarnish Canada’s reputation. Rowlan says:

I honestly don’t think its stance on cryptocurrency and blockchain or how the global blockchain and cryptocurrency community views Canada. However, this could make people care more about owning their cryptocurrency directly than holding it on exchanges. The whole nature of cryptocurrencies is that we have the power to become our own bankers so that no one can seize our assets.

Final thoughts: Polievre needs to play a long game

Financial posting observes Poilievre appeared on a cryptocurrency podcast in early 2022 and has completely avoided new interviews. Of course, this is always welcome on the Inves Podcast (hence, a note).

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A brutal bear market takes a backseat to key issues including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the carbon tax, housing prices, and foreign affairs. No one wants to appreciate the benefits of cryptocurrencies when many investors suffer.

What does all this mean for the cryptocurrency industry? Basically, nothing. It’s not the most exciting time for the industry to see the collapse of big projects like Luna (LUNA / USD).

As noted by the CEO of IoTeX, Canada already offers a friendly environment for blockchain companies to operate. Now, Polievre doesn’t (and doesn’t want to) bring anything new to the table. Things may change considering the next election scheduled for October 2025.

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