The Canadian financial industry is betting on a new blockchain platform called Etherium, which it hopes will be ready in time for the first wave of cryptocurrency trades to start taking place.
The industry has been experimenting with the technology since 2015, and the latest version of Etherium was unveiled on Thursday.
The platform, called Etherum, was launched by the Canadian Financial Services Commission in a bid to address the challenges of regulating cryptocurrencies, such as those from China, Russia and the United States.
Etherium is built on the Ethereum blockchain, a peer-to-peer software platform, and aims to make the process of buying and selling financial products more transparent.
The government of Canada has said the blockchain is an “important tool” for regulating financial services in Canada, and has pledged to work with companies to improve the technology.
The new platform is built using Ethereum’s native blockchain technology, but will use another one.
“This is a very exciting time in the history of the financial industry, and it will be very exciting to see what is coming next,” said Jeffrey Luskin, the head of technology at the CFSC.
“I am hopeful that we will see the blockchain being adopted for many more transactions and the regulatory requirements will be a bit lower.”
Etherium allows users to exchange virtual tokens for real goods and services.
It was developed by the financial services industry in partnership with Canada’s Ministry of Finance, and is available to buy and sell goods and financial services on the Etherium platform.
The CFSC said Etherium will provide regulators with more flexibility in how they oversee financial institutions.
It will also allow for more efficient cross-border trading of financial instruments.
The finance industry hopes that Etherium could become a standard for financial products to be sold and traded in Canada.
“The CFSC will be working with other countries and industry groups to identify opportunities to integrate Etherium in the broader financial services ecosystem, to make it available in other countries,” Luskins said in a statement.
“We hope that the adoption of Etherum by our member institutions and the wider industry will enable them to be able to take full advantage of the platform in Canada and other countries.”