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Canadian conservative leadership contender vows to kill CBDC

Canadian conservative leadership contender vows to kill CBDC

The leading candidate to become Canada's opposition leader says he would ban the country's central bank from issuing a CBDC.

Pierre Poilievre, who is competing to become the leader of the opposition Conservatives, is a strong supporter of digital currencies and blockchain technology.

The MP has said that the likes of Bitcoin are a way to "opt out of inflation" - an argument that has been dismissed by senior central bank officials.

The Bank of Canada has spent several years working with the country's commercial lenders to explore the creation of a DLT-based CBDC. Last year, it said that its work on a potential digital loonie has accelerated because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on cash usage.

Nevertheless, the bank continues to insist that "no decision has been made" on whether to roll out a CBDC.

Poilievre has made clear that, as prime minister, he would prevent any such digital loonie, arguing that it would give government more power to oversee Canadians' spending as well as see the central bank compete with commercial lenders.

“A central bank digital currency would mean that Canadians would have their money deposited with the government rather than with a private financial institution, and that the central bank would then be in direct competition with commercial banks,” he told reporters in Ottawa.

Continued the MP: "A Poilievre government will ban a central bank digital currency and allow Canadians to have the economic and financial liberty that they deserve."

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