In a report released by the Bank of Canada, the majority of the Canadian public doesn’t want a digital dollar.
In their report released last Wednesday, the Bank of Canada sought feedback from a variety of respondents including those from the financial sector, civil society groups, focus groups, and members of the public.
In a sweeping majority, 86% of the respondents from the public gave negative responses to the questionnaire, citing a myriad of concerns with a CBDC.
According to the Bank of Canada, “Many of these respondents did not trust the Bank and other institutions to protect or respect their privacy…”
Moreover, 92% said they would prefer to use their current payment methods instead of a digital dollar — and 78% of respondents said they didn’t believe the Bank of Canada would consider their feedback in the creation of a CBDC.
The majority of comments featured in the report bashed the move to create a digital Loonie, among them saying, “Leave cash alone!”
Another said “A digital dollar sounded great until we saw the Federal government freeze private bank accounts of its own citizens for supporting a political movement it disagreed with. I have no faith at all in the system anymore.”
In response to a question of research, 88% said the bank should not even be researching or building capability to create a digital dollar.
Financial stakeholders were on the fence, however, citing a need for more “concrete details” on how the structure would work. On the other hand, focus and civil society groups recognized the “need” for a digital dollar, but still had some reservations on the issue.
“It’s the beginning of the end of freedom.”
The Bank of Canada stated, “…[the public] felt that bank notes would continue to offer privacy and anonymity during transactions over the long term, no matter the government of the day.”
The report emphasized that Canadians did not want the bank to collect personal spending and banking information from citizens, and didn’t believe in the Bank of Canada’s ability to protect them from cyber attacks, citing government cyber security failures
CBDC not ruled out
However, a digital currency was not ruled out in the report, and the Bank of Canada said that the ultimate decision was up to Parliament.
They further indicated that they are still researching and working with “stakeholders” in preparing for a digital dollar.
“If Canadians decide a digital dollar is necessary, our obligation is to be ready,” said the Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor, Carolyn Rogers.