How Canada is Becoming a Hub for Blockchain Innovation

With the recent increase in the amount of companies that are intending to get a foothold into the new and exciting industry of blockchain technology, a geographical race for locations to become the blockchain ‘capital’ has begun. This is not exactly a new concept, as new tech seems to always create a nonverbal competition for each country to attempt to cement themselves as the world leader in a new and highly profitable industry.

As it stands today, blockchain is an emerging industry and currently there is no one country that has a stronghold over it. Since the tech is so new, companies are only now starting to understand the full extent of its potential, and government bodies are still figuring out how to go about regulating services that utilize blockchain. However, one thing is certain, the race to become the ‘blockchain capital’ of the world is very much underway.

What we’ll look at today is how Canada hopes to fair against its rivals and if it has a fair chance to become an industry-leading hub for innovative blockchain technologies.

Canadian Companies

Canada has always been the site of some extremely exciting technological revolutions. While it may feel like Canada is overshadowed by its American sibling, the innovation of Canadian startups has cemented Canada as a major player in its own right. This is no different with blockchain as several major companies, banks and startups have expressed plans to seize the opportunity that this new tech has provided them.

Even Canadian companies that you might not expect to have a stake in blockchain have expressed interest in using the technology to better their services or launch brand new services altogether. One such example of this phenomenon is the popular Canadian messaging app, Kik.

Kik, a company started by a group of college students back in 2009 is now worth $1 billion and the company has expressed plans to seize some new opportunities by using blockchain. In doing so, they’ve decided to launch a blockchain-based currency called KIN that aims to serve as a decentralized ecosystem of digital services.

Research in Canada

Canada is no stranger to research organisations, and already boasts a vast array of impressive institutions that serve to lead entire industries down paths that have the potential to drastically change the future of everyday life.

Now, we’re starting to see research institutions emerge in Canada that serve solely to research and present innovative uses for blockchain. One such research institution is the Blockchain Research Institute which operates out of Toronto, Ontario.

This month, the Blockchain Research Institute announced 16 new members, including some major companies. Included in this list of supporters is Fujitsu, Barrick Gold, Bell Canada, DTCC and even FedEx. Robert B. Carter, the Executive Vice President & CIO of FedEx gave the following statement in support of the institution:

“It is critical that we make the most of potentially disruptive technologies like blockchain. As a member of the Blockchain Research Institute, we will be able to truly capitalize on the opportunities created by blockchain to improve the way we do business.”

Canadian Banks

Canadian banks have been quick to adapt to the emergence of blockchain, and have had no struggle catching up to the new movement. Last month, Reuters reported that the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)–one of the country’s biggest banks–has been experimenting using blockchain as a way to process payments between banks in Canada and banks in the U.S.

RBC is said to have been developing this new system for the last half a year in Toronto at the RBC blockchain technology center, with the hope that this technology will allow for quicker, more affordable payments to be processed. Similarly, the Bank of Canada has made similar efforts as RBC to implement blockchain technology solutions and revolutionize the way that banks carry out their services.

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By: Jack Filiba

Originally published at