The Bank of Canada has launched a public consultation on the features of a digital Canadian dollar. The announcement has been posted on the bank’s website and Twitter account. The institution was careful not to use the unpopular “central bank digital currency” phrase or a “CBDC” acronym with regard to its project. The consultation opened on May 8 and will run until June 9.
The rationale behind the survey is obvious. Canadians, same as people worldwide, are using more and more digital means of payment, which ultimately paves the way for digital versions of national currencies. “As the world becomes increasingly digital, the Bank—like many other central banks—is exploring a digital version of Canada’s national currency,” reads the release, and it quickly proceeds to assure that “At this time, a digital Canadian dollar is not needed.”
Should the situation change in the future, the digital dollar would have to be designed to serve Canadians’ needs, the bank assures. The institution is seeking opinions on several topics related to a digital dollar, including usage, security, accessibility, and privacy. Further in the release, the bank reassures that “cash isn’t going anywhere,” yet it warns that “there may come a time” when people who stick to good ol’ banknotes too tightly will risk being excluded from participating in the economy.
The responses from citizens amount to an overwhelming “no.”
Some warn directly of looming slavery, quoting Chinese reality where total control over citizens’ everyday – including financial – activity, was already implemented pre-Covid, with Social Credit System and rampant surveillance infrastructure.
What is the purpose of the Bank of Canada CBDC survey?
The Bank of Canada launched the CBDC survey to understand public sentiment towards a digital version of the Canadian dollar. As society becomes increasingly digital, the Bank is exploring this concept, even though it assures that a digital Canadian dollar is not needed at this time.
How could a CBDC impact Canada?
The introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency could bring a host of changes to Canada's financial landscape. It could improve financial inclusion, efficiency, and security of payments. However, there are potential risks, including privacy concerns, risk of financial exclusion for those dependent on cash, and increased government control over individual financial activities.