We are working on several technical projects designed to help us prepare for the future of money and payments.
Central bank digital currency (CBDC)
The way that Canadians use money and make payments is changing in response to new technologies. That’s why we are building the capability to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC)—so we can be ready should the need arise.
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.
Our broad-based approach to fintech and our work on Project Jasper landed our Fintech Working Group the first Pioneer Award in 2018.
In the first phase of the project, we investigated the use of DLT for the settlement of high-value interbank payments.
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.
Project Jasper Phase 3 explored the potential benefits from integrating this “cash on ledger” with other assets, such as foreign exchange and securities.
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.
We are teaming up with other central banks to assess potential cases for central bank digital currencies. Together we have already published the following reports:
- Central bank digital currencies—executive summary (September 30, 2021), which includes detailed reports on:
- Central bank digital currencies: foundational principles and core features (October 9, 2020)
The Bank is also 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.
The Bank is collaborating on CBDC research with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We will:
- explore how advanced technologies could affect the potential design of a CBDC
- provide updates as the work progresses