According to the Bank of Canada, the digital dollar Canadians should mimic the traditional currency in terms of availability and accessibility.
In an analysis report dated June 30, experts from the Bank of Canada explained some of the goals of their digital central bank currency (CBDC). The analytical reports are research conducted by the Bank’s analysts, who are independent of the Board of Directors. So they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the bank itself.
The expert group explained that CBDCs should mimic the characteristics of traditional banknotes. This means that must be available in urban, rural and remote populations for people with or without bank accounts and that it can be used by anyone, including blind and partially sighted people.
The note says:
“A CBDC should be as accessible as cash.”
Understand people’s needs
To maximize inclusion and ease of use, the note states that the bank should develop a CBDC that Canadians can use regardless of whether they have a smartphone or have Internet access. People should be able to trade with CBDCs even in regions with little or no network coverage and even during a power outage.
As a first step in developing its digital dollar proposal, the Bank of Canada is trying to understand its citizens’ needs through extensive consultation with user groups, is considering several design options, and will launch a prototype before the main launch.
A universal access device
So that all citizens can use CBDCs, the bank intends in one accessible universal access device (UAD) that “includes visual and security elements like traditional banknotes”. This is to ensure the security of people from fraudulent devices and to create more trust in the CBDC system.
The prototype proposed so far could be the size of a credit or debit card so that it easily fits into people’s wallets. Experts say that the UAD should enable people to load money from anywhere and work without a central network. This device should also run on local energy for extended periods of time and have “potential access to natural energy sources” such as sunlight.
The clue also suggested that if the UAD was not tied to an individual, it could easily be sold for the value of its content.