Exploring new ways to pay

Planning for a digital version of cash

Two scenarios could warrant an introduction of a digital currency by the Bank of Canada:

  1. If the use of physical cash is reduced or eliminated altogether, leaving some Canadians left out
  2. If private cryptocurrencies make serious inroads, creating concerns about privacy and handing control of payments to private companies

In these scenarios, Canadians and their government could decide we need a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Bank of Canada would design it to provide the benefits of cash—safe, easy to access, private and a good store of value—but in a digital version that consumers could use to buy things electronically online or in person at a shop.

As we prepare for a possible future digital currency, we want to start a discussion of what it might look like in Canada. In doing so, the Bank will consult widely to answer questions such as:

  • What design features might make a CBDC attractive for merchants and users?
  • How would a digital currency work with other methods of payment?
  • How would a CBDC work for cross-border transactions?
  • How can we protect privacy while preventing illicit uses?

News – Bank of Canada

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