Digital Canadian Dollar? Public Consultation Launched by Bank of Canada

canada digital dollar

The Bank of Canada has announced an online public consultation to gather feedback on potential features for a digital Canadian dollar. The consultation launched today and goes until June 19, 2023. It aims to understand the preferences of Canadians regarding the design of a digital version of the national currency.

As the global economy becomes more digital, the Bank is exploring the possibility of creating digital currency, similar to efforts by other central banks worldwide.

“As Canada’s central bank, we want to make sure everyone can always take part in our country’s economy. That means being ready for whatever the future holds,” said Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers in a statement on Monday.

Although there is currently no need for a digital Canadian dollar, and any decision to issue one would require the approval of Parliament and the Government of Canada, the Bank wants to ensure that any potential digital currency meets the needs of Canadians.

The consultation seeks opinions on topics such as usage, security features, accessibility, and privacy concerns related to a digital dollar. Yes, the government is spending our tax dollars on a digital dollar consultation.

Rogers emphasized the importance of understanding Canadians’ values in the design of a digital dollar to ensure its security, reliability, and ability to meet the needs of users. The Bank has been providing banknotes for over 85 years, and cash remains a safe, accessible, and trusted payment method. If a digital Canadian dollar is issued, banknotes will still be available for those who prefer them.

The Bank aims to address potential risks associated with a decline in the use of banknotes and the possible adoption of private cryptocurrencies or foreign central bank digital currencies in Canada. A digital Canadian dollar could provide a secure and stable digital payment option issued by the country’s central bank, ensuring Canadians continue to participate in the economy, it says.

A report summarizing the findings of the consultation is expected to be published later this year.

Back in 2021, the Royal Canadian Mint launched the MintChip challenge for developers, to create a digital payment app using the latter’s MintChip technology with a $50,000 grand prize.

After Toronto fintech nanoPay won the $50,000 prize, a new MintChip iOS app was launched to let users send and receive digital cash, plus shop at stores with a QR code. The app and process never took off and later in the fall of 2018, the MintChip app was shut down altogether. So that past experiment should tell you all we need to know about a digital currency right now.

Now, if the zombie apocalypse ever comes, cash will always remain king when the power goes out indefinitely.