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Central bank exec says Canada could launch CBDC sooner than expected

COVID-19 can force the Bank of Canada to launch a CBDC sooner than previously expected.

According to a Tuesday interview on the Bank of Canada’s approach to the digital payment systems, Timothy Lane, deputy governor of the Bank of Canada and head of research at the bank’s fintech and crypto department, declared that Canada’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), might see the light of the day “sooner than expected.” 

According to Lane, the predicted decline in COVID-19-fueled cash transactions has been happening more rapidly than the bank had previously expected. This could trigger the bank to issue a CBDC sooner that it originally planned: 

“In February, we identified two scenarios that we would want to be prepared for. One of them was the disappearance of the acceptance of cash, and the second was the emergence of digital currencies. […] I would say that in the last nine months we’ve seen developments that look like they’re in the direction of some of those things coming to pass sooner than expected.”

The latest remarks by the deputy governor show that the Bank of Canada is shifting its stance toward a CBDC. 

According to cointelegraph, In February, Lane stated that there was no compelling case for the Bank of Canada to launch a digital loonie, mentioning that it will continue to be “well-served by the existing payment ecosystem.”

Despite the enhance in digital payments owe to the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s progress with the digital yuan, many countries all over the world have taken a “wait-and-see” approach to CBDCs, including the United States, New Zealand and Russia. 

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