The recently released report by Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce on digital currency has been permanently etched in Bitcoin’s blockchain.
The action was done “mostly for fun, and partly as a nod to the community,” according to a reddit user, who identified himself as a Bitcoin professional working out of Bitcoin Decentral in Toronto. He relates that he was approached by a Senate staffer seeking technical help to embed a short message on the report and its “proof of existence” into the blockchain.
He goes on to describe the different hashing options that were available and that his choice avoids “blockchain bloat” and is favorable for future retrieval.
The hashing was performed with a transaction of 0.0004 BTC ($0.01), spent from the following address:
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Alberta Senator Doug Black, who sits on the Senate Committee, tweeted the following:
— Senator Doug Black (@DougBlackAB) June 19, 2015
The report emphasized the importance of Canada taking a “lighter regulatory touch” on digital currency, highlighting the importance of not stifling innovation during this “delicate stage.”
Putting it on the blockchain is the exclamation point in what can be seen as a marked shift in sentiment from one year ago, when there was greater focus on the risks posed by digital currency. Canada’s FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre) budgeted $23 million to monitor virtual currencies, and issued an advisory on money services businesses dealing in them. The “Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act” was also amended to include virtual currency.
Policy makers are now better informed on the topic in general, and have become aware of the potential harnessed by blockchain technology, beyond its use for an anonymous currency. Like other countries, Canada is hoping to strike the right balance between regulation and innovation.