According to employees of the country's central bank, Bank of Canada, the Canadian digital dollar should mimic traditional banknotes in terms of accessibility and affordability.
In a June 30 policy note, Bank of Canada experts revealed some of the central bank's objectives for digital currency (CBDC). Analytical notes are a product of employees and analysts of the bank, separated from the board of directors, and therefore they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the bank.
An expert group stated that the CBD should mimic the functions of ordinary banknotes. This means that it should be accessible in urban, rural and remote settlements for people with or without bank accounts, and can be used by anyone, including the blind and visually impaired. The note indicates:
“Access to the CBD should be as affordable as cash.”
Understand the needs of people
In order to ensure maximum accessibility and ease of use, the memorandum states that the bank should develop a CBDC agreement that Canadians can use regardless of whether they have a smartphone or have access to the Internet. People should be able to work with CBDC even in areas with little or no network coverage, as well as during power outages.
As a first step towards developing the proposed digital dollar, the Bank of Canada seeks to understand the needs of its citizens by conducting extensive consultations with user groups, considering several design options, and will release a prototype before a major launch.
Universal access device to use CBDC
So that any citizen can use CBD, the bank seeks to work with a reasonable global access unit (UAD), which “integrates visual and security elements into banknotes”. This is necessary to ensure the safety of people from counterfeit devices and to increase confidence in the CBDC system.
The proposed UAD can be the size of a credit or debit card, so it can easily be placed in people's wallets. Experts say that UAD should allow people to download cost anywhere and work without a central network. UAD must also work for a long time with local energy and have “access to natural energy sources” such as sunlight.
The note further stated that if the UAD is not tied to any person, it can easily be replaced with its remaining value.