Timothy Lane, deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, said at a fintech conference in Montreal today that there are currently no plans to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), but preparations are being made to increase Canada's payment ecosystem. Lien believes that there is currently no compelling reason to issue a CBDC.
He outlined two main situations where such an initiative could be considered, first when the use of tangible cash is completely reduced or eliminated, and second when private cryptocurrencies are heavily used. Lien said it is expected that it will take several years to develop the ability to issue CBDC. Lien said the Bank of Canada plans to consult with a wide range of stakeholders when designing the central bank's digital currency and will include discussions with federal and provincial governments and regulators, payment service providers and merchants. Prior to the release of the digital currency, the Bank of Canada believed that issues still needed legislative authorization.