The stunning collapse of FTX, one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, has not only shaken the crypto world but called into question the future of blockchain and digital assets. In a year of repeated failures and crashes, the calls for increased regulation are getting louder. Ryan Clements is a law professor at the University of Calgary, where he holds the chair in Business Law and Regulation and specializes in the regulation of fintech, blockchain and crypto-assets. He’s written extensively on crypto regulatory issues, including an expert report on Canadian cryptocurrency governance for the Public Order Emergency Commission. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to provide some background into the growth of crypto, the collapses of Luna and FTX, and where Canada sits on the regulatory spectrum.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 149: Ryan Clements on the FTX Collapse and Canada’s Approach to Crypto Regulation
Money for Nothing: Government Quietly Expands Bill C-18 Eligibility to Broadcasters That May Not Even Produce News Content
Later today, the Canadian Heritage committee will continue its clause-by-clause review of Bill C-18, the Online News Act. The committee is virtually certain to expand the eligibility of news outlets, responding to concerns that the current criteria may exclude smaller, independent outlets from benefiting from the bill’s mandatory payment/arbitration system. However, earlier this week, just as the committee was hearing that the bill covers quotes with links to news content by users in Facebook posts, it quietly expanded the scope of the definition of “eligible news business” in a manner that opened the eligibility door to some organizations that may not even produce news content. As a result, the bill faces another potential trade challenge as it evolves into a straight subsidy model in which the bulk of the payments go from Internet companies to Canadian broadcasters with little regard for value or any notion of actually use of news content.
A Tale of Two Readouts: U.S. Escalates Trade Concerns With Canadian Digital Policy as Canada Seeks To Downplay the Issue
Canadian International Trade Minister Mary Ng and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai met yesterday to discuss Canada-U.S. Trade issues and concerns regarding Canada’s digital policy – most notably a proposed digital sales tax and Bills C-11 and C-18 – continue to mount. The U.S. raised digital policy concern over the summer, specifically citing Bill C-11 with a reference to “pending legislation in the Canadian Parliament that could impact digital streaming services.” The latest readout suggests that the concerns are growing, as the U.S. now cites both Bills C-11 and C-18 by raising “pending legislation in the Canadian Parliament that could impact digital streaming services and online news sharing and discriminate against U.S. businesses.”
Who Is the Government Really Backing With Bill C-18?: Rejected Online News Outlet Amendment Tells the Story
Last week, I wrote about Liberal MP Lisa Hepfner’s comments at the Heritage committee study into Bill C-18, as she dismissed a proposed Conservative amendment by offering a misleading take on CRTC regulation of the news and stating that online news outlets are “not news.They’re not gathering news. They’re publishing opinion only.” Those comments unsurprisingly sparked anger from many online news outlets, leading to an apology from Hepfner in which she said that Bill C-18 will support digital journalists in their work. Yet a day later, the committee was back at clause-by-clause review and while Hepfner remained silent, her colleagues voted down an amendment proposed by online news services which re-affirms that action speaks louder than words.