‘Digital loonie’ should come from Bank of Canada, not private sector, deputy says


OTTAWA — A Bank of Canada official is delivering a detailed defence of why the central bank should issue a “digital loonie” instead of ceding control to private cryptocurrencies.

The Bank of Canada has been developing its own digital currency, one of a number of central banks doing the same kind of development should the need arise to issue one.

Deputy governor Timothy Lane says in a speech today that the bank doesn’t see a need for a central bank digital currency even as the pandemic has accelerated the shift to more a digital economy.

But, Lane says that could change if there is a tipping point where cash is no longer widely used in Canada.

He says any digital currency should come from the central bank to ensure the public interest, not private sector profits, is a top priority.

Lane says only a central bank can guarantee privacy rights would be upheld, competition encouraged, and universal access for those in remote communities.