Driven by advances in data analytics, machine learning, and smart devices, financial technology is changing the way Canadians interact with the financial sector. The evolving landscape is further influenced by cryptocurrencies: non-fiat, decentralized digital payment systems, like Bitcoin, that operate outside the formal financial sector. While Bitcoin has garnered attention for facilitating criminal activity, including money laundering, terrorism financing, digital ransomware, weapons trafficking, and tax evasion, it is Bitcoin's underlying protocol, the blockchain, that represents an innovation capable of transforming financial services and challenging existing security, financial, and public safety regulations and policies. Canada's challenge is to find the right balance between oversight and innovation. Our paper examines these competing interests: we provide an overview of blockchain technologies, illustrate their potential in Canada and abroad, and examine the government's role in fostering innovation while concurrently bolstering regulations, maintaining public safety, and securing the integrity of financial systems.

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Keywords Bitcoin, Blockchain, cryptocurrency, disruptive technology, financial regulation, money laundering, terrorism financing
Persistent URL
Journal International Journal
Ducas, E. (Evangeline), & Wilner, A. S. (2017). The security and financial implications of blockchain technologies: Regulating emerging technologies in Canada. International Journal, 72(4), 538–562. doi:10.1177/0020702017741909