Canadian Digital Dollar | Nov 29, 2023
Bank of Canada Publishes Stakeholder Feedback on The Canadian Digital Dollar Initiative
Since 2020, the Bank of Canada has actively engaged with Canadians and stakeholders to gather insights on the digital Canadian dollar. This has included diverse discussions with the financial sector, focus groups, civil society groups, and an online public questionnaire. The Bank of Canada’s report, “A Digital Canadian Dollar: What we heard 2020–23 and what comes next”, provides a feedback lens across several themes.
Key Feedback Themes
- There’s a shared interest in accessibility and financial inclusion ensuring that the digital dollar caters to underserved communities, with a focus on making it accessible without stringent identification requirements. This approach aims to bridge gaps in current digital payment offerings and promote universal access.
- Stakeholders emphasized the importance and concerns of privacy, advocating for a digital currency that offers the anonymity of banknotes. The public expressed strong reservations about sharing personal information and the potential overreach of privacy laws.
- The importance of maintaining access to physical currency was highlighted, with suggestions to mandate merchant acceptance of banknotes to support marginalized communities.
- The need for robust cybersecurity measures was a common concern, with varying levels of confidence in the Bank’s ability to provide such security. The idea of a digital dollar functioning without an internet connection was also discussed for practical resilience and inclusivity.
- Financial institutions such as banks and credit unions expressed the need for more detailed information to understand the potential impact on their business models and financial stability. Concerns were raised about the digital dollar replacing bank deposits and accelerating bank runs during crises.
The decision to introduce a digital dollar will ultimately be made by Canadians through their representatives in Parliament, with a focus on balancing privacy, accessibility, and financial stability. The Bank is exploring various models and technologies to support a potential digital dollar, ensuring readiness for the future digital economy.
While the path forward involves complex considerations and diverse stakeholder interests, the final decision, however, rests with Canadians and their representatives, ensuring that any future digital currency aligns with the nation’s values and needs.
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