The Bank of Canada (BoC) has announced that they are officially considering the introduction of a central bank digital currency and will be taking the public’s feedback on the matter for just over a month.
The BoC says that as the lives of everyday Canadians becomes increasingly digitized, exploring the introduction of a central bank digital currency is increasingly pertinent.
“As Canada’s central bank, we want to make sure everyone can always take part in our country’s economy,” said the BoC’s senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers.
A central bank digital currency is a digital alternative to bank notes issued by a nation’s central bank that is stored in an account either with the central bank itself, or as electronic tokens.
The BoC says that as cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies from other countries become more popular, this risks compromising the role of a centrally issued dollar and could affect the stability of Canada’s financial system.
While the BoC is in the development phase for a central bank digital currency, the central bank asserts that a digital dollar is not currently needed, and that any decision to introduce such a digital dollar lies with Parliament and the Canadian government.
The central bank says that they do not plan on phasing out bank notes upon the introduction of a central bank digital currency.
“Cash isn’t going anywhere,” reads the BoC’s press release.
The BoC is in the process of holding an online public consultation where Canadians can ask questions and voice their concerns with the introduction of a central bank digital currency.
The central bank says that they are seeking opinions related to how Canadians would use the central bank digital currency, what security features would be important for Canadians, and what concerns Canadians have pertaining to accessibility and privacy.
Canadians can take a survey to voice their opinions on a central bank digital currency until June 19, 2023, after which the BoC will share Canadians’ input with senior decision makers and publish a report on their findings.
The Atlantic Council’s central bank digital currency tracker shows that Nigeria, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and eight Eastern Caribbean countries already introduced a central bank digital currency, with many more countries in the pilot phase of launching such a currency.
China has already launched their central bank digital currency to over 250 million of their citizens, with the project set to be expanded to the majority of their population by the end of 2023. Other countries in the pilot phase include Australia, Japan, India, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and more.