Canada Could Soon Launch A Digital Dollar — Here's What That Means

Don't worry though, cash isn't going anywhere.

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
A number of Canadian currency bank notes.

A number of Canadian currency bank notes.

The way Canadians pay for things might look a lot different in the near future. The Bank of Canada has recently introduced the concept of a Canadian digital dollar, or Central Bank Digital Currency, which simply put, would be a digital version of cash.

While cash isn't going anywhere, and the digital dollar would by no means replace the current methods of payment, the Bank of Canada is looking for a new and innovative system to keep up with the changing ways in which Canadians pay for everyday items.

Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada launched a public consultation on the features that could potentially be included in a digital Canadian dollar. "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.

"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."

The digital dollar would have the same dollar value as physical bank notes and be accessible to anyone and everyone, the Bank of Canada said. The digital Canadian dollar would be used for everyday things including groceries, gas and other daily necessities. The digital dollar would eliminate having to carry multiple bank notes and/or coins and could be used for both in-person and online purchases.

Exploring a digital Canadian

The Bank of Canada said they are studying ways to ensure the digital dollar would work even without the use of Internet. Additionally, the digital form of currency would not accrue any form of interest and could be used securely and privately on a phone, by card or any other device.

Despite its digital nature, the potentially new type of currency would not be considered the same as cryptocurrency or Bitcoin, as their values can fluctuate significantly.

"A digital Canadian dollar would ensure Canadians always have an official, safe, and stable digital payment option issued by Canada’s central bank." Per the Bank of Canada, a report summarizing the consultation will be published later this year.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is a writer by day and reality TV binge-watcher by night. When he’s not cracking down on recalls, celeb news and discovering the best of the best foodie spots across Montreal, he can be found indulging in his love for new cuisines, reading and music, with Mariah Carey being his ultimate diva.