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The evolution of cryptocurrency from the creation of something outside the prevue of government agencies to a medium of exchange that is managed and regulated by government agencies continues to progress, most recently with our neighbors to the North.
The trial is the first instance of the creation of a national currency in a virtual environment, the use of it in transactions amongst the banks who are members of this blockchain, and the ability to conduct payments directly in the virtual environment. (According to CoinDesk, a Barbadian digital dollar, launched earlier this year, uses the Bitcoin blockchain instead of a private blockchain with pre-approved participants.)
While it is currently possible to trade any number of assets in a virtual environment, whether shares in a company or land titles, at some point, the two parties in a transaction have had to go “off-ledger” or out of the virtual environment to transfer actual money. This experiment now makes it possible to actually transfer that value on the blockchain.
This recent step being taken by Canada government agencies is by no means their first foray into the region of digital currency, with an earlier effort dubbed MintChip undertaken by the Royal Canadian Mint having been sold to loyalty and payment platform company nanoPay in January of this year. In a discussion earlier this year with Mercator, nanoPay’s leadership expressed its aim to eventually leverage the MintChip technology to digitally render all established national currencies.
Overview by Joseph Walent, Senior Analyst, Emerging Technologies at Mercator Advisory Group
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