Sorting out the value, volatility and durability of cryptocurrencies

Rising prices may be increasing their allure but there are considerable risks

Sorting out the value, volatility and durability of cryptocurrenciesThe value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others recently hit new record highs, in the thousands of dollars per unit. This escalation has attracted more speculators, further boosting prices over the past several months. Much of this is the result of investors fearing they will miss out on a chance to profit. While…

Shadow banks have revolutionized digital investing

The decentralization genie is out of the bottle

Shadow banks have revolutionized digital investingUnderneath all the media brouhaha and institutional focus on bitcoin, a struggle is brewing in the crypto world: which altcoin will pick up the baton? A fierce competition is underway for the podium, with Ethereum having a clear first-mover advantage. Bitcoin, as economists and investors such as Larry Summers and Ray Dalio have come around…

Canada’s crypto crackdown does a disservice to the market

Canada must emulate countries such as Liechtenstein and Malta, which adapted legislation in advance to attract crypto entrepreneurs

Canada’s crypto crackdown does a disservice to the marketThe Canadian cryptocurrency industry knew mainstream adoption would inevitably come with a regulatory load, especially after the 2019 collapse of the largest exchange at the time, QuadrigaCX. Participants, however, didn’t expect regulators to come with one of the most heavy-handed approaches possible. On March 29, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory…

Bitcoin’s future looks bright as a reserve currency

A fraction of the global economy moving to a bitcoin standard will create a ripple effect

Bitcoin’s future looks bright as a reserve currencyFormer Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper recently suggested bitcoin could become a reserve currency alongside the U.S. dollar. Now a business adviser with Harper & Associates consulting, he had a caveat: bitcoin still lacks a key money feature, that being a store of value. In contrast to fiat currencies, bitcoin has done little but rise…

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrenciesAmong the many races the pandemic has accelerated, none is so pointless as the issuance of central-bank digital currencies. The Canadian government, which should know better, has jumped into the fray despite earlier opposition. Reversing comments made in February 2020, Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane now believes state involvement in cryptocurrencies is a…

Cryptocurrency regulations don’t serve customers

New Canadian rules shift all the burden and risks to consumers, and may push away investors

Cryptocurrency regulations don’t serve customersBy Daniel Duarte Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canadian regulators are putting a crosshair on exchanges that hold cryptocurrencies for their clients. This business model, also called a custodial or centralized exchange, is prevalent all over the world but is headed for extinction in Canada, setting back the nascent financial technology (fintech) industry.…

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?

The key is to find digital mediums of exchange that preserve the distinct attributes of cash

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?Canada leads the world in the transition to digitized commerce. With more than two credit cards per capita, the cashless economy is approaching swiftly. The move has been largely voluntary, driven by convenience, and half of Canadians favour dispensing with notes and coins altogether. With cash-only businesses declining to near non-existence, what’s the problem? As…

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economics

For survival, central banks have little choice but to enter the digital-currency race. But it’s a race they will eventually lose

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economicsCentral bankers increasingly sense their obsolescence – and rightly so. The more people turn to private currencies and conduct transactions without intermediaries, the less bureaucrats control the economy. In February 2019, a 33-page Bank of Canada discussion paper unwittingly admitted the vulnerability. The authors, James Chapman and Carolyn Wilkins, noted widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies as…

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchange

Cryptocurrencies may still be experimental but they’re already driving competitive pressure on established institutions

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchangeYour money is worth more to you today than tomorrow. This financial truth – the time value of money – backs the case for real-time pay, a nifty tool for the benefit of workers. Although Canadian unemployment is at a four-decade low, wage growth has stagnated and bankruptcies have spiked. This is where real-time pay delivers,…

Cryptocurrency innovation on the chopping block in Canada

Regulations against nonexistent threats fuel unwarranted fears and impede sector development

Cryptocurrency innovation on the chopping block in CanadaAfter the United States and the U.K., Canada has the highest number of blockchain-related projects – thanks to a relatively hands-off approach. Paranoid authorities, however, are set to suffocate innovation with poorly targeted regulations. On Nov. 8, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance presented its report, Confronting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. It urges…