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Canada: State-Funded Research Program IRAP Now Hosts Blockchain Explorer

The Canadian government-funded research program Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is now hosting its own blockchain explorer, according to an official statement on Aug. 20.

The IRAP, managed by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), has announced that the project has implemented the blockchain-based app on InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a protocol and network that is designed to enable peer-to-peer storing and sharing of data on a distributed ledger.

According to an article published on Newswire, the IPFS blockchain browser has been implemented via Catena Blockchain Suite, a product provided by BitAccess.

With its new initiative, IRAP plans to test the use of public blockchains in government grants’ management, allowing users to perform instant searches for new grant data on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

According to the official announcement, NRC IRAP first hosted a blockchain kickoff session in June 2017, revealing its plans to implement the technology in administering funding for innovative projects to Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In early 2018, IRAP has successfully launched the Canadian government’s “first-ever” live trial of public blockchain technology on Ethereum’s ledger, in order to enable transparent administration of government contracts.

In June 2018, Canada’s national self-regulatory non-profit organization Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) built up a working group to draw up proposals on blockchain within the capital markets ecosystem in a move to protect investors and support healthy domestic capital markets.

Last week, the Bank of Montreal and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan tested a blockchain-powered debt scheme for the Canadian dollar (CAD), which is reportedly the first time when CAD was used as “fixed-income issue” through DLT. Earlier in June, Canada’s central bank (BoC) issued a study reaffirming that double spending on blockchain is “unrealistic.”

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Canadian Research Body Pilots Ethereum in Transparency Push

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), a government initiative, is trialing the ethereum blockchain for recording government contracts.

For the pilot, the NRC is partnering with blockchain startup Bitaccess to use its Catena platform for publishing information on government grants and contributions over the open-source blockchain.

The effort is part of a move to make the government’s administration boost transparency, according to a press release. The NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program is the first entity to test the technology, and is already releasing contributions information. The group will also assess how the government can apply blockchain technology in other areas.

Bitaccess co-founder Moe Adham said in a blog post that the company built its Catena Blockchain Suite to help organizations become familiar with using the technology.

He explained:

“Our goal is to enable institutions to become fully transparent, and enable constituents to participate in the verification and validation of public information.”

While notable, this is not the first official body in the country to foray into blockchain technology. The Canadian central bank has already begun experimenting with blockchain-based platforms, particularly with settlement systems, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

The Bank of Canada’s “Project Jasper,” now in its third phase, has conducted research into securities settlements and resiliency under periods of stress.

Canadian flags image via Shutterstock

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