Do as I say, not as I do.
Canadian banks continue to display open arms towards the implementation of blockchain. While there are many facets of operation that the technology can assist with, one currently stands out – Identity verification.
In a recent speech, taking place in Toronto, Neil Parmenter, of the Canadian Bankers Association, spoke on the integration of blockchain alongside biometrics. While the need for accurate identity verification is obvious, Neil spoke on how blockchain could make the process better. He stated, “Instantly verifying someone who is using multiple digital reference points is more secure than relying on a photocopy of a drivers’ licence…because this digital network is connected, yet decentralized, the risk of compromising the system is reduced by eliminating ‘honeypots’ of data that hackers tend to target.”
While this is a positive example, showing the banks openness towards blockchain, there have been multiple instances of thwarting the technology’s growth outside of their own use.
Unsurprisingly, when it comes to others utilizing blockchain, specifically as cryptocurrencies, the banks are not as open-minded. One case that looms over the industry, within Canada, is currently taking place between CIBC and QuadrigaCX. Here we take a brief look at what has transpired over the past year.
The Saga Continues
In a well-documented event, CIBC froze accounts belonging to QuadrigaCX last year. These accounts are reported to have held over $21 million in funds. CIBC originally claimed this took place, because they were unable to attribute ownership of these funds to QuadrigaCX.
This action led to the two entities finding themselves in court, battling over the release of funds.
This was clearly an example of a powerful entity enforcing its will, unjustly, on a rising company within Canada. Thankfully, the courts viewed this in the same way – on December 5, 2018, a court order was issued, stating the funds must be released.
This court order can be found HERE.
Speed bumps before the Finish Line
Despite the court’s ruling in favour of QuadrigaCX, the exchange has still not received their own funding. The banks have delayed issuance multiple times, for various reasons. These have ranged from lack of communication, to requiring clearance from lawyers, and more.
Unfortunately, these speed bumps may be felt most by the end consumers. Due to the lack of access to over $21 million, QuadrigaCX has been unable to effectively process withdrawals from their platform for months. As a result, a large queue of customers waiting for their money has formed.
Overall, it is clear to see that big banks have no hesitation in using blockchain to their advantage. They will, however, do everything in their power to thwart the rise of companies developing competing services, which may hamper profits.
QuadrigaCX is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, which was founded in 2013. They are popular due to their extensive funding and withdrawal services, in addition to their flexible platform.
Quadriga, unfortunately, announced the sudden passing of their CEO, Gerry Cotton. In wake of these events, QuadrigaCX has named Aaron Matthews as the Interim CEO and President.