Bank of Canada seeks feedback on possible digital dollar

The bank emphasizes that it will still issue bank notes for anyone who wants them, even if it launched a digital currency

The Bank of Canada is asking Canadians for their opinions on a possible digital version of the national currency. The central bank says it has no immediate plans to issue a digital Canadian dollar, but it wants to be prepared for the future of money and to protect the Canadian dollar’s value if and when needed.

“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 press release.

The bank has released a survey that is part of its ongoing research on the potential benefits and risks of a digital currency, which it says could complement cash and other forms of payment.

The release notes that a digital Canadian dollar would be designed to serve Candains’ needs, and thus, it would like to gain feedback on how people would use the digital version of the Canadian dollar, what security features are important for Canadians and what concerns Canadians might have about accessibility and privacy. “We want to hear from Canadians about what they value most in the design of a digital dollar. This will help us make design choices and ensure that it is secure, reliable and meets the needs of Canadians,” Rogers said.

The bank notes that cash is still a safe, accessible and trusted method of payment that anyone can use, regardless of their bank account, credit score or identification documents. However, it also recognizes that cash use is declining in Canada, as more people opt for electronic payments or alternative currencies.

One of the motivations for exploring a digital currency could be to ensure that Canadians always have access to an official, safe and stable digital payment option issued by Canada’s central bank. The bank says a digital currency could also enhance financial inclusion and support innovation and competition in the payment sector.

The bank emphasizes that it would still issue bank notes for anyone who wants them, even if it launched a digital currency. “Cash isn’t going anywhere,” reads the press release.

The survey opened today, May 8th, and will end on Monday, June 19th. You can find the survey here.

For more information on the Bank of Canada’s work on a digital Canadian dollar, click here.

Image credit: Shuttterstock

Source: The Bank of Canada