Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada Submits Recommendations to Ontario Minister of Finance to Improve Provincial Blockchain Business Ecosystem

Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada Submits Recommendations to Ontario Minister of Finance to
Improve Provincial Blockchain Business Ecosystem

By Tanya Woods, Managing Director, Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada

Feb. 18, 2019

The transformative possibilities of blockchain technology offer tremendous positive impact for economic advancement in Ontario and across Canada.  Increasingly, Canadians are realizing that blockchain technology offers an unprecedented opportunity to improve business processes, increase efficiency, and promote transparency throughout numerous industries. It also can fundamentally reshape ownership of assets, how we interact with each other digitally, and how we transfer value. As a result, its use is reforming the ways in which companies in all sectors conduct business – from financial services, digital identity and privacy, healthcare, insurance, intellectual property, real estate, commerce, and supply chain management. It is clear that blockchain is a revolutionary breakthrough, allowing us to create infrastructure towards an “Internet of Value.”

Ontario is in an enviable position for innovation in blockchain technology, but it does not automatically follow that Ontario will maintain its preeminence. In 2017, blockchain ventures raised approximately $8 billion through token generation events, and in 2018, that number jumped to approximately $27 billion. Two years ago, the entire token market had a value of $11.7 billion. Today, according to CoinMarketCap the token market cap is approximately $162.5 billion in size. Despite rapid cross-sectoral innovation, the blockchain industry continues to confront core implementation and growth challenges with the emergence of an entirely new digital asset class and technology architecture – regulatory risk being a substantial component.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce recently submitted comments to the Ontario Spring Budget Consultation 2019 recognizing Ontario’s promise to create a government ecosystem which would demonstrate to blockchain innovators that the province is “open for business” and ready to “reduce red tape.” Governments around the world at all levels must work to keep pace with the digital innovation ecosystem and demonstrate that they want to harness and attract economic growth from this leading technology and innovation sector.

As a home to thousands of technology businesses, innovators, institutes and investors, Ontario is well-positioned to become a leading global blockchain hub that attracts economic growth and prosperity. To achieve success, the Ontario government will need to simplify, modernize, and harmonize the regulatory requirements applicable to participants in the digital economy. It is imperative that it publicly support blockchain implementation across all sectors, develop a plan to promote coordination across government and enhance the quality and frequency of its blockchain stakeholder collaboration and dialogue. The comments submitting by the Chamber and its member offer suggested paths forward to achieve these objectives.