Cryptocurrencies Are Becoming An Election Issue In Alberta

Cryptocurrencies are becoming an election issue in and around Edmonton as a municipal election nears.

Some municipal candidates are promising to make Edmonton a cryptocurrency-friendly city, and to go so far as to declare the city a municipality that embraces the digital currency.

Efforts to attract Bitcoin miners and other cryptocurrency-related businesses to Edmonton and the province of Alberta are being applauded by crypto proponents, including Adam O’Brien, the founder of Bitcoin Well, an Edmonton-based company that has made the world’s first Bitcoin ATM machine.

However, Edmonton is not the only municipality to embrace Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Innisfil, Ontario has become the first municipality in Canada to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for property taxes.

Some Bitcoin mining operations have been migrating to Canada after they were shut down in other jurisdictions, notably China where the government is increasingly cracking down on digital coins and tokens.

This past spring, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told reporters that the global pandemic has accelerated the digital economy and "the case for a digital currency becomes more compelling."

However, not all voters in Alberta are embracing cryptocurrencies. A Bitcoin mining operation outside of Edmonton was shut down last week after neighbours complained about the business that was running four power generators around the clock in a suburban neighbourhood.