Mitchell Nicholson is an economist in Economic Research and Analysis Division of the Currency Department. Mitchell obtained a B.A. in Economics and a B.Sc in Mathematics from the University of Western Ontario. He also graduated with a M.A. in Economics from the University of British Columbia. His primary research interests include the institutional structure and regulatory policies surrounding cryptocurrencies. He is also interested in researching Canadians' use of cash and the rationale for central banks to issue central bank digital currencies.
In 2015, the Bank of Canada surveyed merchants and found that cash was nearly universally accepted (Fung, Huynh and Kosse 2017). Since 2015, retail payments in Canada have become increasingly digitalized, as many Canadians have adopted digital payment innovations like contactless cards and Interac e-Transfer.
The Bank of Canada continues to use the Bitcoin Omnibus Survey (BTCOS) to monitor trends in Canadians’ awareness, ownership and use of Bitcoin. The most recent iteration was conducted in late 2018, following an 85 percent decline in the price of Bitcoin throughout the year.