Over the last decade in which the digital economy has grown at an unprecedented pace across industry sectors, blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology have shown the ability to reform the ways in which businesses and governments operate. To better understand Canada’s blockchain ecosystem, on October 4, 2019, the Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada released Canada’s first ever comprehensive report examining the country’s burgeoning blockchain ecosystem.

Through data collected from more than 150 stakeholders from industry, government and academia, this report serves as a baseline measurement of the Canadian blockchain ecosystem for tracking future growth and GDP impacts over the coming years.

On a global scale, spending on blockchain solutions by companies and governments is projected to hit almost USD$16 billion in 2023. Against this backdrop, Canada’s spending on blockchain solutions is expected to grow exponentially and reach USD$644 million by 2023, at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 73.3%, which is the highest growth rate of any country in the world.

Below are some of the key findings from the report:

  • High paying jobs: The average annual salary for a blockchain worker in Canada is pegged at CAD$98,423, which is nearly double the average Canadian salary. This compensation level makes the blockchain industry among the highest paying in Canada. Globally, the annual average salary for blockchain professionals range from CAD$83,958 to CAD$178,577.
  • Legal and regulatory issues: Almost half of survey participants listed “legal and regulatory challenges” at the top of barriers they faced. Survey results indicated that the federal and provincial policy and regulatory positions with respect to digital assets are vague and inconsistent. Larger corporations and startups alike pointed to the uncertainty and lack of harmonization in the regulatory sphere for causes behind hindered investments in blockchain innovation.
  • Canadian companies’ focus areas: The report identified nearly 400 Canadian companies that are currently active in advancing blockchain technology and contributing to the ecosystem. Blockchain-based products and services account for 34% of the Canadian blockchain ecosystem while digital asset infrastructure represents 30%. Enablers, which consist of blockchain consultancies and infrastructure and services, make up 29% of the ecosystem.
  • Innovation breakdown by region: Of the currently active 400 blockchain companies, Ontario emerges as the province which has the most innovators (at 52%), followed by British Columbia (at 29%). In terms of areas of focus, Western Canada provinces such as B.C. concentrate on providing financial services, building trading platforms and conducting crypto mining activities. Blockchain activities in Central Canada, particularly in Toronto as a financial hub, tend to focus on the investments in blockchain-based innovations. Meanwhile, Eastern Canada companies work primarily on supply-chain solutions.

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