Canada backs blockchain development with “cautious optimism”

24 May, 2018

Blockchain technology is changing several industries, and big governments are already backing initiatives in this new market. The Canadian federal government recently held a Blockchain Day to get a better handle on how exactly the technology improves government operations in different departments. Earlier this May, the Conference Board of Canada presented research about the technology while touching on regulatory issues about blockchain privacy and its effects on business practices and the public sector.

According to The Star, the earliest official conversation about blockchain technology in Canada’s federal government started in December 2016, when former international trade minister Chrystia Freeland met with business leaders, tech innovators, and industry experts to discuss the technology in depth. Shidan Gouran, president of Global Blockchain Technologies Corp, thinks Canada is currently ahead of Silicon Valley when it comes to blockchain research and development. “There’s a real shortage … and we have a lot of the good developers, actually, right here,” he said.

The Conference Board of Canada released a briefing titled “Cautious Optimism: Adopting Blockchain to Improve Canadian Government Digital Services”, which describes how blockchain technology can improve efficiencies in visa certification, identity verification, and even marriage certificates. A blockchain framework could reduce infrastructure costs in many industries and improve consumer services, but it’s still difficult to predict which blockchain development projects will succeed.

Government-supported programs, like Canada’s Blockchain Codefest, continue to help introduce new projects and types of thinking to this emerging field. The program asked participants to form small groups to create blockchain solutions focused on solving issues in the public sector. And Canada’s not alone in exploring blockchain applications; Australia just invested AU$700,000 in its Digital Transformation Agency to research blockchain utility for government services.

It’s clearly not a matter of whether or not blockchain technology will take off—it already has. The pressing questions now are which projects will define best practices regarding this new technology and how long it will take to see blockchain solutions worldwide.



Image via Unsplash.

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