Digital Currencies and Fintech: Projects

Learn more about our work on a central bank digital currency (CBDC), our financial technologies (fintech) experiment Project Jasper and other projects and partnerships that allow us to build and experiment with test cases and proofs of concepts.

Our broad-based approach to fintech and our work on Project Jasper landed our Fintech Working Group the first Pioneer Award in 2018.

Central bank digital currency

We are responsible for preserving the value of money, supplying Canadians with bank notes and overseeing important payment systems.

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Bank is working on several projects designed to prepare for what we know about the future of money and payments and to be ready for different possible scenarios that we cannot currently predict.

This includes building the capability to issue a cash-like central bank digital currency (CBDC). While we currently have no plans to issue a CBDC, we need to be ready should the need ever arise.

Project Jasper

Project Jasper marks a significant milestone in the payments industry. It was the first time in the world that a central bank participated in a distributed ledger technology (DLT) experiment in partnership with the private sector. This collaborative research initiative between the public and private sectors aims to understand how DLT could transform the wholesale payments system.

Phase 1

In the first phase of the project, we investigated the use of DLT for the settlement of high-value interbank payments.

February 9, 2017
Project Jasper Primer
This primer, published by Payments Canada, provides a brief overview of the project.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of the project involved rebuilding the platform using an alternative form of DLT to further test the efficiency of this technology for the clearing and settlement of high-value interbank payments.

May 25, 2017
Project Jasper: Are Distributed Wholesale Payment Systems Feasible Yet?

This report describes a joint endeavour between public and private sectors to explore a wholesale payment system based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). They find that a stand-alone DLT system is unlikely to be as beneficial as a centralized payment system in terms of core operating costs; however, it could increase financial system efficiency as a result of integration with the broader financial market infrastructure.

Phase 3

Project Jasper Phase 3 explored the potential benefits from integrating this “cash on ledger” with other assets, such as foreign exchange and securities.

October 22, 2018
Jasper Phase III: Securities Settlement Using Distributed Ledger Technology
White Paper prepared by Payments Canada, the Bank of Canada, TMX Group, Accenture and R3
This report describes the findings of the third phase of Project Jasper, a collaborative research initiative between the public and private sectors to understand how distributed ledger technology could transform the future of payments and securities settlement in Canada.

Phase 4

Together with Payments Canada, we have partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of England to work on a cross-border, cross-currency settlement system for the next phase of the experiment. This collaboration combines our own Project Jasper and Singapore’s Project Ubin, with a view to using DLT to make cross-border payments faster and less expensive.

May 2, 2019
Jasper-Ubin Design Paper: Enabling Cross-Border High Value Transfer Using Distributed Ledger Technologies
White Paper prepared by the Bank of Canada, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Accenture and J.P. Morgan
This report describes the findings of the Jasper-Ubin experiment, a collaborative research initiative between two central banks with support from the private sector. This experiment helped us to understand how distributed ledger technology (DLT) could lead to safer and more efficient cross-border and cross-currency payments using different types of DLT platforms.
November 15, 2018
Cross-Border Interbank Payments and Settlements: Emerging Opportunities for Digital Transformation

Preliminary report prepared by the Bank of Canada, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Bank of England, and HSBC, with contributions from Toronto-Dominion Bank, the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, the United Overseas Bank, KPMG and Payments Canada
This report describes the preliminary findings of the fourth phase of Project Jasper, a collaborative research initiative between the public and private sectors to understand challenges and inefficiencies in cross-border payments and settlement and how new models for these processes could improve the outcome.

Other projects and partnerships

The Bank is working with the Bank for International Settlements to launch a BIS Innovation Hub centre in Toronto to advance fintech innovation within the central banking community. We are also teaming up with other central banks to assess potential cases for central bank digital currencies.

Moreover, the Bank has partnered with the Creative Destruction Lab and is a founding member of the Blockchain Research Institute.