Deciding on a Digital Dollar: The Necessary Steps for Canada

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[co-author: Oscar Crawford-Ritchie - Articling Student]

Key Takeaways from a Second Virtual Workshop with Canadian and International Experts on the Digitalization of Money

On April 26, 2022, the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Bennett Jones hosted a virtual workshop with international and Canadian experts, from the public and private sectors as well as academia, on the steps required for Canada to keep pace with global developments in the digitalization of money.

The session built on a previous workshop by focusing on the concrete steps that Canada would need to take in the short and medium term to ensure that the country does not fall behind international peers and risk missing out on the potential opportunities associated with a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC), that is, a CBDC for use by Canadian consumers and businesses. The discussion had three main goals: to review the international backdrop and what can be learned from global first movers in the CBDC space; to understand the early steps Canada should take to prepare for a CBDC and their sequence; and to conduct an early assessment of the legal and regulatory changes required to support a Canadian CBDC.

This conference report shares key takeaways from the workshop, which was held under Chatham House rules. It does not purport to represent a consensus among the participants, nor to convey the views of any individual or organization. Its goal is to communicate the steps that participants felt would best prepare Canada to benefit from a CBDC, should the country decide to embark on such a project.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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