Canada's central bank, the Bank of Canada, has issued an analytical note for central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The key messages are: a CBDC should be as accessible as cash, multiple formats for a CBDC can embody the design principles of universal access, a CBDC could be used through a dedicated universal access device (UAD), a UAD could be resilient in ways that a smartphone is not.
The bank explains that a CBDC should be designed to include many of the attributes of traditional cash (ease of use, portability, offline function).
"Using a CBDC should be a positive and inclusive experience—from acquiring it, to using it in transactions, to being assisted by its support services," the regulator clarifies.
The bank also added it is exploring multiple formats for a CBDC, including conventional online and mobile technologies, as well as custom devices and deviceless solutions.
In February, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada Tim Lane said that although the bank does not plan to release its own digital currency in the near future, it does not rule out this possibility "due to the possible mass adoption of digital currencies."
According to Lane, there is currently "not a compelling case" to support the launch of a CBDC, however, the country's central bank is working on the development of a prototype in case it eventually needs to launch it.
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