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Canadian Government Invests in Blockchain Solution for Steel Supply Chain Tracking

January 25, 2020
James Hall


Canadian Government Invests in Blockchain Solution for Steel Supply Chain Tracking

The Government of Canada allocated $300,000 split between Peer Ledger and Mavennet to develop a blockchain prototype specific to tracking the steel supply chain.

Per a Canada Newswire (CNW Group) press release the two Canadian companies will work to “develop a proof of concept for a digital tracing system enabled by blockchain and artificial intelligence for the Canadian, and possibly North American, steel supply chain.”

The funding for this initiative comes from 20 departments and agencies that participate in Innovative Solutions Canada, a program which “invites Canadian small businesses to develop innovative solutions to address government challenges.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry stated the following concerning this new initiative:

“Our government is leveraging its significant purchasing power to help Canadian small businesses become more competitive. With this challenge, we’re looking for a tool to better trace the steel supply chain and provide information on product supply and demand, instant verification of origin, and quality of inputs and outputs. By turning to Canadian innovators for their best ideas, we’re accessing quality products to solve some of our most pressing challenges while helping businesses grow and create good jobs.”

A comprehensive government report, sponsored by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), detailing the goal of this investment can be viewed here:

Canada will Leverage Blockchain Technology in the Emerging Economy

The origin of Innovative Solutions Canada is Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a part of the 2017 government budget.  This multi-year strategy aims to “build Canada as a world-leading innovation economy to create jobs and grow the middle class.” The budge allocated billions towards improving skills and innovation, infrastructure, tax fairness, and social programs.

An October 2019 report, prepared for the Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada by the Blockchain Research Institute with support from Accenture, sought to measure Canada’s blockchain ecosystem. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Canada’s spending on blockchain is projected to increase exponentially, from US$72 million in 2019 to US$644 million by 2023, with an impressive five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 73.3 percent— higher than any other country
  • Venture capital and private investments in blockchain have topped US$10 billion over the past five years. Half of these investments went to the United States and Japan, with Canada start-ups receiving approximately US$220 million (8th place globally).
  • The average salary in Canada in 2018 was $52,052…the average salary of a blockchain worker in Canada is $98,423, nearly double the Canadian national wage average.

The report notes some roadblocks which could hamper the business potential for Canada in the blockchain industry. It cites legal and regulatory issues and a lack of funding as being the most prominent issue based on their respondents.