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Digital Policy Salon: Who's Getting on the Blockchain Train?

Welcome to the 21st issue of the Digital Policy Salon weekly briefing. We're exploring the emerging f
Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Who's Getting on the Blockchain Train?
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #21 • View online
Welcome to the 21st issue of the Digital Policy Salon weekly briefing.
We’re exploring the emerging field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies this week, featuring new research into investment in the growing Canadian blockchain ecosystem. Our perspective piece provides an overview of a 2019 study mapping the blockchain sector in Canada, while our weekly interview examines the new field of digital asset intelligence.
Beyond blockchain, policy updates and this week’s “what we’re reading” give us a glimpse of an important and ongoing debate about the legal classification of Uber and Lyft drivers. Read on to learn about a new COVID-19 test recently approved for use in Canada, among other important tech and COVID-19 news items. Thanks for sticking with us through the summer holidays, and we look forward to joining you again next week.
- Faun, Khiran, and Tyler

COVID-19 and Tech Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Canadian SMEs weigh in on the importance and impact of government programs responding to COVID-19
A new survey on the use of COVID-19 support programs by Canadian small businesses shows the federal wage subsidy program (CEWS) and federal loan program (CEBA) to have had the highest use, with 55% and 60% of small businesses using these respective programs. In contrast, just 15% of Canadian small businesses reported using the federal rent assistance program (CECRA). Along with the Innovation Assistance Program at IRAP, CEWS has been called a crucial measure that “essentially saved the innovation economy.”
Health Canada approves COVID-19 test that can display results within the hour
Guelph-based biotech company Precision Biomonitoring will begin the import and sale of new COVID-19 test kits, capable of diagnosing the virus in a little as an hour. The tests, recently approved by Health Canada, work alongside Precision Biomonitoring’s mobile phone app, which displays results digitally, enabling quick diagnosis from remote locations.
Wealth Simple approved to launch first Canadian-regulated cryptocurrency platform
The Ontario Securities Commission has approved Wealth Simple’s new cryptocurrency asset platform, making it the first cryptocurrency platform on the Canadian market to be registered with Canadian securities regulators. “For the first time, Canadians will be able to use a crypto platform that’s carefully overseen by regulators.”
New report identifies Canada as primary target for phishing scams
Phishing attacks, which account for a significant portion of all consumer-directed cyber-security attacks, pose a distinct threat to Canadians. According to a new report by the RSA, with respect to phishing, Canada was the most frequently targeted jurisdiction for the fifth quarter in a row, accounting for 66% of all attacks.
California judge provides guidance on employment status of gig-economy workers
A California judge recently ordered ride-share companies Uber and Lyft to provide their drivers the same benefits as regular employees, including overtime, sick leave, expense reimbursement, and other benefits where applicable. Currently, in many jurisdictions, ride-share drivers and other gig-economy workers are considered independent contractors and not regular employees, which prevents them from receiving such benefits. The order has since been appealed and will be ruled on by a higher court. - Mairead Matthews | email
Our Perspective
Building Canadian Consensus | Overview
Interviews in the Field
The Importance of Playing Around with “Blockchains”
Austin Hubbell, CEO and co-founder of Consilium Crypto
Austin Hubbell, CEO and co-founder of Consilium Crypto
What We're Reading
Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees, judge rules, in blow to gig economy
Research Visualized
Around the world, the use and implementation of blockchain has been growing. The figure below displays a McKinsey analysis, showing the different sectors to which blockchain can be applied, ordered by impact and feasibility. Financial services, retail, and public administration are among the highest impact and highest feasibility sectors, while the lowest impact and lowest feasibility has been identified as arts and recreation as well as manufacturing.
Blockchain Opportunities by Sector - Source:  McKinsey Digital, June 2018
Blockchain Opportunities by Sector - Source: McKinsey Digital, June 2018
Our Research
Chain Reaction: Investment in Canada’s Blockchain Ecosystem
Twitter Highlights
Invest in Canada
Canadian cities are among North America’s top #tech #talent markets!

👉growing talent pool
👉competitive costs
👉high tech talent concentration

For global investors, this means Canada has the talent you need.
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