Blockchain Investing

The Investment Regulatory Organization of Canada released its 2019 Priorities on Monday (June 25), which outlines 10 key areas of focus, including how to regulate industry services made via blockchain technology.

The Investment Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is looking to make how to regulate blockchain technology and digital assets a key focus as part of its 2019 Priorities.

IIROC released the notice on Monday ( June 25), which details the organization’s focus for its 2019 fiscal year “where the public interest regulator will take action to better protect investors and promote healthy capital markets in Canada.”

As part of its 10 areas of focus for the upcoming year, the IIROC said in terms of blockchain it intends to back up the transformative technology by completing an “industry consultation on the evolution of advice” and look to regulate services conducted via blockchain.

“The potential application of blockchain technology is poised to dramatically alter the very ecosystem that underpins the capital markets,” the filing reads. “Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies are examples of blockchain applications that have already begun to impact the capital markets in significant ways, as potential direct or indirect investments, or in the form of initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges.”

IIROC states in the filing that it has created a group that will lean on its knowledge and recommend a regulatory response. The group will work together with various Canadian regulators to be sure IIROC is “aligned and consistent.”

The overall priorities of IIROC are set out in a three year strategic plan that are partnered with its continuing dealer and market oversight responsibilities.

“Our priorities focus on providing more efficient, relevant and proportionate regulation as we adapt to the changing needs of investors and the industry,” IIROC president and CEO Andrew J. Kriegler said Monday’s press release.”It’s important that our stakeholders understand both our immediate priorities and our long-term goals and strategies. We will continue to consult broadly to ensure we take into consideration stakeholders’ views.”

IIROC is a non-profit self-regulatory organization in Canada. IIROC monitors investment deals and trading activity on debt and equity markets within the country.

The organization’s 2019 Priorities come on the heels of the Canadian government’s Department of Finance publishing earlier this month a draft on regulations pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges and payment processors.

“With the financial industry increasingly moving to the digital world, it is necessary to update the legal framework to ensure no loopholes emerge,” the draft reads, and exampling prepaid cards, virtual  currency and foreign MSBs that could “be exploited by criminals without stifling innovation in the financial sector.”

The proposed amendments aim to strengthen Canada’s Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorist Financing Regime (AML/ATF) and help “improve reporting entities’ compliance with regulatory requirements.”

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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