Digital Currencies and Fintech: Research

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Understanding the benefits and risks of digital currencies and electronic payments is important because new technologies and new players could affect the financial system. This in turn could influence how we work to fulfill our core functions. For this reason, we closely monitor fintech developments.

The Bank is conducting research related to a central bank digital currency (CBDC). This is part of its contingency planning to be ready to issue a CBDC in the future if the need were to arise.

Research by Bank staff is produced independently from the Bank’s Governing Council. It may therefore differ from official Bank views. The views expressed in research papers are solely those of the authors. No responsibility for them should be attributed to the Bank.

 

 

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The Positive Case for a CBDC

Staff Discussion Paper 2021-11 Andrew Usher, Edona Reshidi, Francisco Rivadeneyra, Scott Hendry
We discuss the competition and innovation arguments for issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). A CBDC could be an effective competition policy tool for payments. A CBDC could also support the vibrancy of the digital economy. It could help solve market failures and foster competition and innovation in new digital payments markets.

Consumer Cash Withdrawal Behaviour: Branch Networks and Online Financial Innovation

Staff Working Paper 2021-28 Heng Chen, Matthew Strathearn, Marcel Voia
The physical network of bank branches is important in how consumers manage their cash holdings. This paper estimates how consumer withdrawal behaviour responds to the distance they must travel to their branch.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Bank notes, Digital currencies and fintech JEL Code(s): G, G2, G21, R, R2, R22

An Exploration of First Nations Reserves and Access to Cash

Staff Discussion Paper 2021-8 Heng Chen, Walter Engert, Kim Huynh, Daneal O’Habib
Adequate cash distribution is one the Bank of Canada’s core interests. Canadians’ ability to access cash influences the Bank’s thinking on issuing a central bank digital currency. We provide a perspective on these issues by exploring access of First Nations reserves to cash.

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