Pierre Poilievre, a Conservative Party candidate for Prime Minister of Canada, has been supporting Bitcoin ($BTC) in his campaign, and has recently used the flagship cryptocurrency to buy lunch at a popular crypto-friendly restaurant.
Videos shared on social media show Poilievre using the cryptocurrency’s layer-two scaling solution, the Lightning Network, to send over a payment to Tahinis, a small family-based restaurant chain that has been investing all of its cash reserves into BTC.
The restaurant chain was by brothers Aly and Omar Hamam, which claim bitcoin exposure has been crucial for the chain’s expansion in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring inflation.
Tahinis’ bitcoin-standard strategy has been used by other firms, including the Nasdaq-listed business intelligence company MicroStrategy, which has over 125,000 BTC in its treasury. The restaurant chain has also installed bitcoin machines in every location to encourage employees and customers to buy crypto. It does not, however, accept BTC payments because it wants to encourage people to hold.
Poilievre is reportedly looking to gain the favor of the broader cryptocurrency space, CBC News reports, and has been pro-crypto in his campaign. He was quoted saying:
Government is ruining the Canadian dollar, so Canadians should have the freedom to use other money, such as bitcoin.
The Canadian PM candidate has argued that choice and competition can “give Canadians better money and financial products,” while also allowing them to “opt-out of inflation with the ability to opt-in to crypto currencies.”
As securities regulatory responsibility is a provincial matter in Canada, Poilievre has said he hopes to work with provinces to eliminate the “cobweb of contradictory rules” surrounding crypto regulations, while avoiding a crackdown on the space.
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