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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 Ecology of Automated Market Makers

Staff Discussion Paper 2024-12 Annetta Ho, Cosmin Cazan, Andrew Schrumm
This paper describes the ecology of automated market makers, which are the most popular decentralized exchange model for the pricing and trading of crypto assets within decentralized finance.

The Role of Public Money in the Digital Age

Staff Discussion Paper 2024-11 Francisco Rivadeneyra, Scott Hendry, Alejandro García
A well-functioning monetary system is characterized by public and private forms of money that exchange at par as value flows freely between them. A relevant retail public money—whether in the form of cash, a central bank digital currency or both—is a necessary component of such a monetary system.

Untapped Potential: Mobile Device Ownership and Mobile Payments in Canada

Staff Working Paper 2024-25 Marie-Hélène Felt, Angelika Welte, Katrina Talavera
We present a two-stage model of mobile phone and mobile payment usage that controls for selectivity. This reveals unobserved factors that work against having a mobile phone and toward mobile paying. Therefore, people who are unable to acquire or choose not to own a mobile device might have unmet payment needs.

Analysis of DeFi Oracles

Oracles are constructs used in decentralized finance to price assets relative to each other. However, oracles contain defects that could lead to manipulation attacks. Such attacks exploit pricing models embedded within oracles to defraud creators and users. We automatically verify defects, which if mitigated, improves the security of digital currency.

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