Canada becoming the place to be for Blockchain

Reported by: |Updated: September 7, 2020

Canada is considered No 3 in the global blockchain hierarchy after Malta and China:

Walmart Canada, in collaboration with DLT Labs, had recently rolled out a freight invoice and payment reconciliation solution across Walmart Canada’s 60 transportation carriers. The eCom chain believes the solution will increase trust, efficiencies and savings between it and its carriers. Developing the system is in fact an instance of customizing blockchain technology to evolve a solution for a complex procedure, which is somewhat unique to Walmart and its supply chain. What the new system does is that it uses distributed ledger technology to track deliveries, verify transactions and streamline the payment and reconciliation process among Walmart Canada and its carriers that deliver goods to over 400 retail stores across Canada annually. The platform integrates and synchronizes all of Walmart Canada’s freight supply chain and logistics data in real time, aggregating the data between Walmart and its fleet of third-party trucks on a shared ledger.

The innovation is an instance of the prowess that Canada possesses in adapting, customizing and scaling blockchain technology to suit specific, non-traditional uses. Two countries with the highest interest in blockchain technology are Malta, which is known as the ‘Blockchain Island’, and China, which has the largest number of blockchain companies. Industry experts give the third place to Canada, mainly because the technology is used innovatively and for gainful purposes.

HOME FOR ETHEREUM

Canada is also home for Vitalik Buterin, who created Ethereum and is one of the most prominent blockchain figures worldwide. Also, Canada has one of the frontal organizations doing outstanding work in the field of blockchain – the Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute, which has evolved into a global think tank promoting various blockchain-based projects throughout the globe. At the moment, the BRI has over a hundred research projects underway, from education to transportation.  In addition, the Canadian government and several other institutions are pioneering blockchain research and mass adoption.

Canada’s central bank, the Bank of Canada, way back in 2017, had teamed up with Payments Canada, the central payments processor, and R3, a distributed database technology company, to conduct research called Project Jasper. The project focused on how blockchain solutions can improve the clearing and settlement of high-value interbank payments. The research initiative consisted of 3 phases. Phase 1 was conducted on the Ethereum platform and Phase 2 on the custom-designed R3 Corda platform. Among the findings during the 2 phases of the project were possible cost savings through lowering the costs of reconciliation.

The phase 3 of the project focused on a new collaboration to experiment with an integrated security and payment settlement platform based on DLT.

SOPS FOR DEVELOPERS

Startups involved in developing blockchain-based solutions are given a variety of tax incentives in Canada and developers are encouraged to focus heavily on innovation rather than regulation. Similarly, cryptocurrency and blockchain-centered businesses are fully legalized in the country and there is a number of initiatives that enhance and support blockchain research.

One notable blockchain-based product that came out of Ethereum’s labs is Aion, which aims to develop an alternative to both the Ethereum and bitcoin blockchains. It fundamentally differs from bitcoin and is based on a system of smart contract. It offers various tools through its systems which are intended to build the blockchain networks of tomorrow.

FOR VERIFICATION

Another example of blockchain being effectively used is the recent adoption by the country’s banking industry a blockchain-based digital identity verification network giving people an easy way to share their personal information. Developed by a private company of Toronto, SecureKey, the solution is an app, Verified.Me, that helps users verify their identity simply online, in person and on the phone using information they consent to share from connections, such as banks, to access things like health records and government services, and to open accounts with banks and telcos. At present, customers of CIBC, Desjardins, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and TD can add their providers as connections, with BMO and National Bank of Canada to follow soon. Verified.Me is built on top of IBM blockchain technology and it offers a holistic approach to digital identity that protects the interest of consumers and businesses by simplifying the sharing of personal information in a safe way.

Yet another instance of how blockchain is effectively used in cross border payments is the recent exchange of digital currencies by the Bank of Canada and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The 2 central banks have been collaborating on the use of DLT and central bank digital currencies to make the cross-border payments process cheaper, faster and safer The Bank of Canada’s Jasper was linked with Singapore’s Project Ubin network as part of the test, done in partnership with Accenture and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

It is Canada’s focus on innovation that is helping it to be a key player in the blockchain sector worldwide. Many see it as the place to be for blockchain., and it will continue to be such in the foreseeable future.

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