In a speech today, BoC deputy governor Timothy Lane stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated the need to digitize cash. Lane stated: “The pandemic may bring us to a decision point sooner than we had anticipated.”
“A central bank—with no commercial motivation to harvest data—is uniquely positioned to build in safeguards for privacy, while at the same time defending against criminal uses. Privacy is clearly important to Canadians, and it’s also in the public interest to protect some degree of privacy.”
Today’s remarks fall in line with the steady decline of cash usage in Canada over the course of 2020, a trend that Lane said in December.