Canada And Australia Continue Consultation And Research Into CBDCs

Canada And Australia Continue Consultation And Research Into CBDCs

May 19, 2023

According to a May 8, 2023 press release, the Bank of Canada has launched online public consultations to understand the features that could be included in a digital Canadian dollar.

The consultation seeks to understand how Canadians would likely use a Canadian digital dollar, what security features are important, and accessibility and privacy concerns. The public consultation runs until June 19, 2023.

The Bank of Canada has stated that a digital Canadian dollar is not needed at this time, and any decision to issue one rests with Parliament and the Government of Canada.

In November 2022, the Canadian government launched a consultation on digital currencies, including stablecoins and central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Bank of Canada continues to actively research, prepare and consult on the case of a potential CBDC. The Bank of Canada will publish a report summarizing this consultation later this year.

Meanwhile, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Philip Lowe, said that the RBA had issued a small amount of digital currency to explore possible use cases of new forms of digital money, including a CBDC, as part of a research project with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC). 

Lowe made these remarks at the Reserve Bank Board Dinner in Perth on May 2, 2023. Lowe further said that the RBA was very interested to see this project’s results. 

In an August 2022 joint media release, the RBA and the DFCRC announced a collaboration on a research project to explore use cases for a CBDC in Australia. The report on the project’s findings is expected in mid-2023.

According to the PwC Global Crypto Regulation Report 2023, Australia does not have a bespoke regulatory framework for digital assets unless the assets are caught through existing rules which apply to financial products and general consumer law. 

In December 2021, the Australian Government agreed to establish regulatory regimes for digital assets that included a licensing and custody regime, decentralized autonomous organizations structures, reviewing the policy framework for digital assets taxation, token mapping and research on potential CBDC viability.

In May 2022, the Australian Government undertook to consult on custody obligations for third-party custodians of crypto assets and provide additional consumer safeguards. In September 2022, a draft bill, the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill, was published for parliamentary debate and public consultation on digital assets, including stablecoins.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) continues to support the development of a regulatory framework with a focus on consumer protection and market integrity.

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