Coronavirus pandemic could accelerate decision-making on digital currency launch, says Bank of Canada official
February 10, 2021, 4:25PM EST
1 min read
Tim Lane, deputy governor of Canada's central bank, said Wednesday that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may ultimately accelerate the institution's decision-making process on whether to issue a digital currency.
The Bank of Canada has spent years experimenting with a digitized version of the Canadian dollar, making it one of a growing number of central banks that conduct research and development in this area. According to Lane, who spoke during an event on Wednesday: "The pandemic may bring us to a decision point sooner than we had anticipated." His comments were reported by Reuters.
Still, Lane's commentary indicated that a decision to go ahead with a digital Canadian dollar is not a foregone conclusion.
"A digital currency is by no means a foregone conclusion," Lane remarked.
Elsewhere during the event, Lane sharply criticized bitcoin, remarking that "[c]ryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin do not have a plausible claim to become the money of the future."
"The recent spike in their prices looks less like a trend and more like a speculative mania."
He similarly expressed a critical viewpoint toward stablecoins, or digital assets that are tied in some fashion to government-issued currencies like the U.S. dollar.
"If that business model were used as a foundation for the dominant method of payment in the economy, the issuer would gain control over an enormous range of data - bringing with it overwhelming market power," Lane said, according to Reuters. "In effect, a technology company could become the gatekeeper of the entire economy."