Bank of Canada launches public consultation on digital dollar

The Bank of Canada has launched an online public consultation seeking opinions from Canadians about the potential features of a digital Canadian dollar.

The consultation will run from May 8 until June 19, 2023.

In response to the rapid evolution of payment methods, the bank is exploring a digital version of Canada’s national currency, a move in line with the global trend of central banks.

“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,” Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers said.

The decision to issue a digital Canadian dollar lies with Parliament and the Government of Canada. However, if issued, the digital currency would have to be designed to cater to Canadians’ needs. To that end, the Bank is seeking Canadians’ input on the most crucial features of the digital dollar, including how they are likely to use it, what security features are essential, and what concerns they 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.

Cash has been a trusted payment method provided by the central bank for more than 85 years, and according to the institution would continue to be available even if a digital Canadian dollar is issued in the future.

The bank will publish a report later this year summarizing the consultation.