Canada’s Conservative Party candidate for prime minister, Pierre Poilivre, has come out in support of allowing Canadians to use bitcoin (BTC) as legal money in the country.
On March 29, a Poilievre video was posted on the BITCOIN YouTube channel saying that the people of Canada needed “more financial freedom” in front of a crowd of about 100 people at a local restaurant. He added: “This includes the freedom to own and use cryptocurrencies, tokens, smart contracts and decentralized finance.”
“People should have the freedom to choose other money. If the government is going to misuse our cash, we should be free to use other, better cash.”
Earlier this year, the Canadian government, led by Liberal Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, took a hard line on crypto in response to the Freedom Convoy protests in Ontario. In January and February, Canadian officials froze protesters’ bank accounts and attempted to block all donations to truckers, including those made in cryptocurrencies.
Conservative leader candidate @PierrePoilievre buys chicken shawarma from @TheRealTahinis using the Lightning Network with Bitcoin. The cost of the transaction was one Satoshi, which is covered by the consumer. This was Tahini’s first Bitcoin purchase.pic.twitter.com/T5hVlY4fy0 — Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) March 28, 2022
Canadian Blockchain Consortium (CBC) CEO Kolya Carringten told Cointelegraph today that right now “it’s a hostile environment from the liberal government towards crypto,” which is “due to a lack of knowledge, understanding, and regulatory clarity.”
“It is important to have a strong advocacy position to educate the government on blockchain. Once they see the level of tax revenue, they will understand that this is not an industry for criminals, but an industry for innovation.”
Carringten believes there are more cryptocurrency holders after the complications caused by Prime Minister Trudeau’s application of the Emergency Act in February. The non-profit organization Catalyst said on Feb. 23 that these complications may have resembled bank raids.
Despite his fervor, Poilevre’s support for cryptocurrencies can only resonate with a small group of Canadians. By last October, research firm Ipsos determined that only about 14% of Canadian citizens over the age of 18 own cryptocurrencies. However, this number has risen from 3% in 2016, indicating a huge growth rate.
Related: Coinbase to Track Off-Platform Cryptocurrency Transfers in Canada, Singapore, and Japan
Adoption prospects look optimistic, as Ipsos also found that about 25% of adult Canadians are considering buying cryptocurrency in the future. This sentiment is in line with a study published by Cointelegraph in January, which concluded that out of 1,000 Canadian respondents, 62% would be interested in being paid in crypto by 2027.
Carrington shares an optimistic view of cryptocurrency adoption in Canada. She said there has been a “huge increase” in interest from residents in Alberta, where CBC operates. She added:
“Banks can no longer ignore this. Politicians can no longer ignore this. They all start asking, “How can we accept this?”