Despite a year marked by turbulence in the fintech investment landscape, blockchain and cryptocurrency have emerged as the undisputed champions in Canada, according to a recent report by KPMG. However, the sector’s future remains clouded by potential challenges, including the introduction of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and hurdles in public adoption.
Made public on February 6th, KPMG’s Canadian fintech report revealed a surprising resilience within the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. While overall deal volume and value witnessed a significant decline in 2023, this sector defiantly stood apart, securing 31 deals.
This accomplishment surpassed other prominent contenders like software-as-a-service (24 deals) and artificial intelligence (15 deals), solidifying crypto’s dominant position.
Cryptocurrency Defies Odds In Canada
Investor appetite for fintech ventures related to crypto was partially fueled by the anticipation surrounding a potential US Bitcoin ETF, explained Edith Hitt, a partner at KPMG.
The potential impact of such an approval is undeniable, with Hitt predicting that it could act as a catalyst, “driving innovation and investment in digital assets” within the Canadian landscape.
Beyond the realm of pure crypto plays, a significant investment in a blockchain infrastructure company during 2023 served as a testament to the expanding interest in the underlying technology itself.
This move suggests that investors are strategically positioning themselves for the future, particularly in the event that Canada decides to launch its own CBDC. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could potentially serve as the backbone for such a digital currency, propelling further growth within the fintech ecosystem.
However, the path towards a CBDC implementation is far from smooth sailing. The Bank of Canada itself has acknowledged potential roadblocks, highlighting concerns about limited consumer incentives due to the existing accessibility of banking services.
Total crypto market cap at $1.702 trillion on the daily chart: TradingView.com
Beyond The Surface
Adding to the complexity, a recent survey revealed a surprising level of skepticism among Canadians towards using CBDCs, raising concerns about widespread adoption.
Despite these challenges, the continued dominance of crypto in Canadian fintech signifies its inherent resilience and potential for future growth. This underscores the industry’s staying power amidst a constantly evolving financial landscape, Hitt said.
While the report offers valuable insights from an industry-centric perspective, it is crucial to seek out diverse viewpoints on the potential risks and benefits associated with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Regulatory decisions, advancements in technology, and broader economic trends will all play significant roles in shaping the sector’s future.
Canada’s crypto and blockchain future remains unwritten. While it currently holds the investment crown, weathering regulatory storms and fostering public trust will be critical for sustained growth within this dynamic and ever-evolving landscape.
Featured image from Adobe Stock, chart from TradingView