Antonopoulos Educates Senate of Canada about Bitcoin

Although the Senate of Canada exerts less authority than the House of Commons, its standing committees have proven to be an influential source of expertise and opinion. It also enjoys considerable international attention: according to Stuart Hoegner, general counsel at the Bitcoin Alliance, no other parliamentary body in the world has publicly canvassed the breadth of materials and opinion that this committee has.

In Canada, the public debate surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies was being formalised as the official Study on the Use of Digital Currency, a consultative exercise that was conducted at the initiative of the Senate of Canada’s Banking, Trade and Commerce committee on 8th October 2014.

As stated in one of his remarks about Bitcoin, “I believe we’re still at the very early stages of this technology. Not only is Bitcoin new, but Bitcoin is already evolving. For example, the capability to do a multi-signature transaction, where there can be up to 20 different signatories on a single transaction, and a transaction can be controlled by any mixture of signatures, that technology was introduced in 2012, four years after introduction of Bitcoin came into full fruition or full availability in 2013. So, already Bitcoin is developing new and exciting programmable capabilities for user security. I think this technology needs time to breathe. It needs time to show the full potential of what is possible with decentralised programmable money. Until that time, I think opening up those possibilities by making clear distinctions where the technology allows it, between centralised and decentralised modes of operation for example, understanding those nuances can create niches where new players can come in to the financial services market and introduce innovation, competition, and quite honestly disruption into the banking industry, by trying out new models for consumer protection, which in my opinion are superior to the ones we have today.”

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