Canada Experiments with Digital Dollar on Blockchain

by Phillip Stafford, Financial Times, London

Canada is experimenting with putting a digital version of its currency on the blockchain, the distributed-ledger technology that underpins the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

The move to put a government-backed currency on blockchain and integrate it into the daily operations of a major central bank would mark a significant advance for the emerging technology.

The Bank of Canada revealed it was developing the CAD-Coin, a digital version of the Canadian dollar, in a private presentation in Calgary on Wednesday.

According to slides seen by the Financial Times, the initiative will involve issuing, transferring, and settling central bank assets on a distributed ledger. It is codenamed Project Jasper and is being carried out in conjunction with several of Canada’s biggest banks, including Royal Bank of Canada, CIBC and TD Bank, as well as Payments Canada. The central bank is expected to reveal more details on Friday.

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