Digital Canadian dollar fails to impress despite high awareness

Digital Canadian dollar fails to impress despite high awareness

November 30, 2023

A recent public consultation on Canada’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative revealed an overall negative sentiment from Canadians, confirming the Bank of Canada’s concerns around its country-wide adoption.

Through the “Digital Canadian Dollar Public Consultation Report,” the Canadian central bank intended to identify a place for CBDCs in a world dominated by digital fiat payments and credit cards. However, in a survey that amassed 89,423 responses, Canadians demanded regulations requiring merchants to accept cash as payment.

The Bank of Canada’s report shows that nearly 95% of the respondents either heard or were familiar with the concept of a digital Canadian dollar. While awareness is one of the key factors for widespread adoption, the metric doesn’t hold for Canada.

Of the respondents, 93% primarily make paper cash payments daily but also use credit and debit cards and other modes of online payments. In addition, just 15% of the respondents held Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

Related: Canadian regulator seeks feedback on crypto asset exposure disclosure requirements

Most respondents advised the Bank of Canada to stop researching and building the capability to issue a digital Canadian dollar. However, the public believes their feedback will not be considered for the CBDC initiative.

Nearly all respondents preferred using existing forms of payment over a CBDC. Surprisingly, people who were aware of CBDCs were more reluctant to adopt the technology when compared with those who didn’t know about it.

Additionally, the small demographic of respondents who previously held crypto showed more interest in using CBDCs.

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