Bank of Canada says digital currency is 'unnecessary' and 'not feasible'

According to Blacklock's Reporter, many Canadians 'dislike using technology and are therefore reluctant to make payments online.' An estimated 11% of people with internet access refuse to Bank online, and 16% do not shop online.

Bank of Canada says digital currency is 'unnecessary' and 'not feasible'
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The Bank of Canada confirmed Thursday that a government-issued digital currency would be 'unnecessary' and only feasible if most Canadians requested the option.

"As a practical matter achieving wide adoption, acceptance and use of a central bank digital currency could be challenging because most Canadians have access to several methods of payment," said the report Unmet Payment Needs And A Central Bank Digital Currency

Most adults (98%) own a bank account and debit card, while 87% possess at least one credit card, reported Blacklock's Reporter.

"Most adult Canadians do not experience gaps in their access to a range of payment methods, and this would probably continue to be the case in a cashless environment," said the Bank's report.

"For a payment-oriented central bank digital currency to address unmet payment needs, the main consumer groups who already have access to a range of payment options would have to widely adopt the currency and use it at scale," wrote researchers. "This is necessary to encourage widespread merchant acceptance."

Overcoming such barriers could require significant and sustained investment by the Central Bank, reads the report.

On May 9, figures released by the Royal Canadian Mint revealed a failed 2012 Canadian digital currency venture cost taxpayers $34.3 million. The Bank disbanded the program the following year, estimating costs at $29 million for its unrecovered research and development costs.

The central Bank launched its first public consultations on the 'usefulness' of digital currencies the day before, asking Canadians about the security and privacy features they would desire for digital currency. The online survey closed on June 19.

"In their public consultation, they mention privacy concerns, but they don't ask a single question about how it would make it easier for them to manipulate monetary policy and control how we spend our money," PPC leader Maxime Bernier told Rebel News.

"That has always been the purpose of central banks." 

In a 2010 speech, Bernier expressed concerns about central banks manipulating money, depreciating the currency, and destroying consumer purchasing power. 

Unlike cash, digital transactions leave a trail.

According to Blacklock's Reporter, many Canadians "dislike using technology and are therefore reluctant to make payments online." An estimated 11% of people with internet access refuse to Bank online, and 16% do not shop online.

Regardless of the interest in digital currencies, the Bank pledged not to phase out cash. "Cash isn't going anywhere," it said.

Payment Needs estimated "only about 14 percent" have abandoned cash purchases. "About half of these people still carry some cash, presumably as a precaution."

According to a 2020 Cash Alternative Survey, the typical Canadian carries $70 in their wallet, mainly $5 and $10 bills, and keeps roughly $185 in their vehicle glove box or dresser drawer. 

"A digital currency will allow the Bank of Canada — a government organization — to know the details of all our transactions," added Bernier. "Whether or not the central bank is serious about protecting our privacy, management, and the Government of Canada will have all this centralized information at their disposal if they want to use it." 

According to Blacklock's Reporter, the Central Bank has a legal monopoly over the distribution of money under the 1934 Currency Act. It earns $1.6 billion a year through the circulation of banknotes, by official estimates.

"Can we trust them after [Finance Minister Chrsytia] Freeland froze bank accounts during the Freedom Convoy? After they printed hundreds of billions to fund Trudeau's gigantic deficits?" posed Bernier. "No!"

He lauds that a digital currency would allow the Bank to manipulate how Canadians spend their money, including on goods "responsible for carbon emissions that the government doesn't like." 

"A digital currency will be the strongest tool in the government's toolkit to control the population, and it would be extremely naive to believe that they will never use it." 

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