We stand at a critical point in Canada with respect to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Right now our government is preparing legislation that will directly impact the crypto-currency ecosystem within Canada.
Please click “Read The Petition” below to read the email letter to The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance and, if you agree with the sentiment, consider clicking the link and sending the letter in support of a progressive stance toward crypto-currencies from our Federal Government.
It is important that we in the crypto-currency community let our government know how we feel.
I had wanted to talk a bit about this service at CoinFest Winnipeg 2014, but didn’t really find a good opportunity. Instead, I decided I’d write a post about the service, and discuss some thoughts I have for where this type of technology could be heading and the opportunities it presents.
ProofOfExistence is a service that allows you to prove that you possessed a specific digital file at a specific time. It does not matter what the contents of the file is. It could be a contract document, an MP3 of a song you wrote, a short story you plan on publishing, or any other digital file imaginable. What PoE does is allow you to encrypt the file and publish the hash as a transaction on the Bitcoin network. This allows the continuum of the Blockchain to forever store your “proof” that you held that document at that specific time.
If, at some point down the road, you needed to prove original ownership of the document, anyone with the document (so long as it remained unchanged) could encrypt it using the same standard, and discover that hash sitting in the blockchain on a specific day and time.
Users of the service are able to publish the proof of existence of the document without having to share the source document. This has significant implications for copyright and trademark registration, personal property registration, and document notarization, all without the need for a centralized authority.
This is an exciting technology because it serves a very real purpose, and demonstrates the kind of non-currency innovation possible with the Bitcoin blockchain. There is potential for services like this to completely replace so many government-run registration services such as the Patent Office, Property Registry and Land Titles Office, and really, any government maintained document registration service. Perhaps that’s a lofty goal politically, but at least technologically, we are on the cusp of having decentralized, distributed solutions for expensive, bureaucratic processes and I find that exciting.
To all of you who made it out to CoinFest Winnipeg today, I just wanted to say thank you for helping to make it such a tremendous success.
I can only estimate, but it looks like we ended up getting somewhere between 100-125 attendees! Bitcoin is alive and well in Winnipeg!
We will be looking to host a Meetup again soon. It’ll be a little bit more casual of an event than CoinFest. Think part round table discussion, part Bitcoin mixer. Hoping you all can make it out. Date/time to follow when I can get my schedule nailed down (just about to start the Parade of Homes and that’s a killer busy time for me).
I also wanted to extend a sincere thank you to our speakers, Mark Jenkins of Skullspace, Shawn Stone of BitTeller, John Thore Stub Sneisen of TheEconomicTruth.org, and Richard Vialoux of WTCR.ca. You guys did a great job and I so appreciate the insight and information you provided today.
I’d like to thank the event sponsors: Santa Lucia Pizza, Best Sleep Centre, WTCR.ca, KMG Gold, and BitTeller. Without the support of these great pioneering companies CoinFest could never have happened.
And finally, a special thank you to the serving staff at Santa Lucia Pizza who did a great job despite the chaos that was CoinFest Winnipeg 2014.
Thank you all for showing your Bitcoin love, and for making CoinFest Winnipeg the single biggest, single best Bitcoin event in Winnipeg history!
I am writing to you today to let you know that I strongly favour a progressive and moderate stance toward digital currencies such as Bitcoin in Canada. It is my hope to compel you to look deeper into the matter and consider the high opportunity cost of burdensome or restrictive regulations surrounding digital currencies.
I was troubled by the recent revelation of an internal FINTRAC document on the subject of Bitcoin, and by the language used within the document. The knowledge that FINTRAC is considering options that would "choke bitcoins oxygen supply (sic)" by denying Canadians access to the foreign-exchange market, or further options to "(force) exchange houses underground" in an effort to devalue the currency are upsetting to me both as a Canadian and as an ardent believer in the tremendous innovative potential that digital crypto-currencies have to offer.
I understand and appreciate the government's need to prevent criminal activity however it may be perpetrated, however I believe, much like the Internet, Bitcoin and similar technologies offer far greater benefit and opportunity to our nation, and to the world, than it does harm or risk. I would like to respectfully remind you that similar concerns were raised about the Internet in its early days, and had our government of the day taken an overly aggressive approach to regulating the Internet, it is clear today that we would have suffered immensely for it.
I believe it is important to understand that the invention of crypto-currencies cannot be undone, and there is no question that it will lead to substantial innovation as entirely new industries are born. The question that remains today is what part Canada will have in the global ecosystem of crypto-currencies. I ask you, Minister Flaherty, to consider that a burdensome approach to regulations surrounding digital currencies such as is discussed in the FINTRAC internal document will not stifle Bitcoin innovation and development, but can certainly be successful in pushing that innovation outside the borders of Canada.
Over the next several years it is clear already that literally hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in capital will be directed at developing new and innovative uses of this emerging technology. I sincerely hope that the Government of Canada will embrace this opportunity and allow the organic growth of these new industries within our borders.
I thank you for your time and consideration on this important and timely matter.