In the Committee’s view, it is the case that legislators, governments, central banks, private-sector entities in a range of sectors, customers, merchants, investors and others are considering the opportunities and challenges that digital currencies present.
After hearing from a broad range of witnesses in Ottawa, and traveling to New York City for a factfinding trip, the Committee has concluded that digital currencies and their technologies present a variety of opportunities. In the Committee’s view, it is likely that the innovation underlying these currencies and technologies has applications that have not yet been imagined. There is evidence that they reduce transaction costs, increase the choices available to customers and merchants, protect users’ identities and record all transactions. A key focus, then, is the actions that the federal government and other entities could take to maximize those opportunities.
Equally, the Committee acknowledges that digital currencies and their technologies present a range of challenges. Money laundering, terrorist financing, losses due to cyber-theft, bankruptcy of digital currency exchanges, price volatility, and a range of taxation issues are serious obstacles for a government whose primary duty is to protect its citizens.
Therefore, the Committee strongly believes that a balanced regulatory approach is needed in the digital currency sector. On one hand, the Committee is mindful that the government has the responsibility to protect consumers and root out illegal activity. On the other hand, it is critical that government action does not stifle innovation in digital currencies and its associated technologies that are in an early and delicate stage of development.
Having completed the study, the Committee is of the opinion that the opportunities presented by digital currencies, technologies and businesses outweigh the challenges. The Committee is confident that the implementation of our recommendations will have positive outcomes for consumers, merchants, digital currency-related businesses, Canada’s financial services sector and others. The Committee looks forward to timely government action designed to maximize the opportunities and manage the challenges facing the digital currency sector.

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