A least 50 firms tied to blockchain and cryptocurrencies are set to list on Canadian stock exchanges in the next year, thanks in part to a junior market that’s more comfortable with risk than other parts of the world, the head of securities firm GMP Capital Inc. said.“The level of activity in this market of quality plays, quality teams is as high as I’ve seen since the internet age,” Harris Fricker, chief executive officer of the Toronto-based firm said in an interview at Bloomberg’s offices. “Canada’s place in this is dramatically more important than what it was in the first phase of the internet.” Bitcoin’s meteoric rise is attracting a ton of attention. Is it ready for the mainstream?(Source: Bloomberg)Canada is emerging as a hub for bitcoin and cryptocurrency stocks amid “a virtuous circle” of expertise and business, backed by a capital markets ecosystem that supports small companies, particularly on the TSX Venture Exchange, Fricker said. While that system has been geared toward miners and oil and gas companies in the past, the marijuana industry has surged to a market value of more than C$17 billion ($13 billion) ahead of recreational legalization in July, and at least eight cryptocurrency-related stocks are now trading in Canada.Reverse Takeover

The University of Waterloo and University of Toronto are “hotbeds” for the crypto industry, Fricker said. Russian-Canadian Vitalik Buterin introduced the world to his ethereum blockchain in 2013, not long after dropping out of the University of Waterloo, near Toronto. It all makes Canada “nicely positioned” to be a leading hub for these technology companies, said Fricker.Bitcoin surged above $15,000 on Thursday, extending its advance this month to more than 50 percent, sparking worries over a bubble in the digital currency. Read more here…

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