- Most Canadians oppose a central bank digital currency (CBDC) due to privacy concerns, lack of trust in the central bank, and preference for existing payment methods like cash and cards according to a Bank of Canada survey.
- 92% of respondents prefer to stick with current payment options, 86% want legislation to require merchants to keep accepting cash, and only 18% trust the central bank with identity data from digital transactions.
- Despite opposition, the Bank of Canada aims to address concerns through CBDC development, but Canada’s Conservative Party has promised to ban CBDCs if elected.
A recent survey conducted by the Bank of Canada revealed that most Canadians have strong objections to the central bank researching and issuing a digital currency. The results highlight privacy, redundancy, and lack of trust as the main concerns.
Canadians’ Primary Objections to CBDCs
The survey found that 85% of respondents said they would not use a digital Canadian dollar. An even greater majority, 92%, said they prefer to stick with current options like cash and cards.
Privacy and Government Overreach Concerns
Distrust in the Central Bank
Only 18% of respondents trusted the central bank to responsibly handle identity data from digital transactions. Trust was even lower for the federal government at 12% and financial institutions at 27%.
Desire to Maintain Cash
86% of participants want legislation requiring merchants to keep accepting cash. Many cited cash’s anonymity, safety, and universal acceptance as reasons they still use it.
The Bank of Canada’s Response
Despite the criticism, the Bank of Canada aims to address concerns through its CBDC development. It is exploring options that don’t require identification or bank accounts to use a digital dollar. However, Canada’s Conservative Party has promised to ban CBDCs if elected.
The Bank of Canada’s consultation reveals most Canadians oppose a CBDC due to privacy issues, lack of trust, and preference for existing payment methods like cash. It remains to be seen how the central bank will navigate these objections in its research and potential launch of a digital loonie.