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February 12, 2024

Canada's 2023: Crypto and Blockchain Reign Supreme

Canadian fintech investments took a breather in 2023, but the spotlight on crypto and blockchain endeavor

Venturing into the dynamic landscape of Canadian fintech, 2023 revealed a nuanced tale of investment evolution. While overall investments experienced a slowdown, the fervor for crypto and blockchain ventures continued to blaze a trail.

According to KPMG's latest global Pulse of Fintech report unveiled on Tuesday, venture capital (VC)-backed investments took center stage, constituting over three-quarters of all deals. A staggering total of 83 transactions valued at $711 million underscored the sector's resilience. Of these, early-stage or seed investments captured the spotlight, comprising over two-thirds of the pie.

For the second consecutive year, the crypto and blockchain realm emerged as the vanguard, boasting a tally of 31 deals. Not far behind, software-as-a-service fintechs commanded attention with 24 investments, while artificial intelligence and machine learning secured 15 investments.

Delving deeper, investor interest in cryptoasset fintechs soared, potentially propelled by anticipations surrounding the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) approval of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). With the SEC greenlighting 11 such ETFs in January, optimism surged, signaling a watershed moment and broader industry acceptance.

The spotlight shifts to Blockstream, a Canadian blockchain infrastructure firm, which secured a monumental $125 million in funding to bolster its bitcoin mining operations. This investment serves as a beacon, signaling Canada's burgeoning fascination with blockchain technology. As KPMG advisory services partner Edith Hitt aptly notes, this move hints at a forward-thinking mindset, with blockchain poised to potentially underpin future central bank digital currencies.

However, amidst this tech-driven momentum, reports hint at a divergence of sentiment regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) among Canadians. While some advocate for a digital future, a significant cohort continues to champion cash transactions, highlighting a nuanced landscape awaiting regulatory clarity.

Zooming out, KPMG's insights illuminate a broader global trend, where VC funding for the crypto sector witnessed a notable recalibration. Galaxy Digital, for instance, reported a substantial 70% decrease in VC funding in 2023, indicative of shifting market dynamics and evolving investor sentiments.

As the fintech saga unfolds, Canada finds itself at the crossroads of innovation and tradition, navigating a path paved with digital aspirations and the enduring allure of tangible currency.

Josefina Dipaolo
Josefina Dipaolo
Content writer at TechNews180
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