The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has formed a working group to recommend a potential regulatory response to blockchain applications within the capital markets ecosystem. The news comes from a June 25 notice summarizing IIROC’s aims for the 2019 fiscal year.
Canada’s IIROC is a non-profit self-regulatory body that aims to serve the public interest by proposing measures to protect investors and support healthy domestic capital markets.
As part of its vision and priorities for the forthcoming year, the IIROC outlines what it considers to be the stakes of the emergence of blockchain technology and related applications, including cryptocurrencies, stating that:
“The potential application of blockchain technology is poised to dramatically alter the very ecosystem that underpins the capital markets. Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies... have already begun to impact the capital markets in significant ways, as potential direct or indirect investments, or in the form of initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, etc.”
In order to “keep pace” with the “fast-evolving” crypto sphere and its “transformational implications” for the existing financial order, IIROC’s newly formed working group will focus on building knowledge of new innovationsю
The organization will also liaise with other Canadian regulators and stakeholders to develop a “consistent” regulatory strategy.
Earlier this month, the Canadian government released an official draft of new regulations for crypto exchanges and payment processors, seeking to strengthen their compliance with the country’s Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorist Financing Regime (AML/ATF).
As a Cointelegraph in-depth analysis this spring outlined, the country has been proactive in developing blockchain applications across diverse fields. These include finance, government, legal, health, education, space, national and multinational cryptocurrencies, energy, and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
For its own part, the Bank of Canada (BoC) has been experimenting with a major blockchain Proof-of-Concept (PoC), dubbed “Project Jasper,” for securities settlements since 2016, which would tokenize both cash and assets to enable instant exchange.
Earlier this month, a BoC official publicly voiced doubts as to the potential advantages of the project, suggesting that “at this time, there is no cost-saving effect compared to the existing central bank system. Hacking and other operational risks are likely to occur.”