The Bank of Canada (BoC) has sparked controversy by filing for trademarks on terms like “digital dollar” and “central bank digital currency,” even though they previously stated the public would decide the future of such a currency.
In December 2023, the BoC filed claims to these terms under the Trademarks Act, essentially declaring ownership of any future “digital Canadian dollar” launched within the country. This contradicts their previous statement in November, which said that any decision about a digital currency would be made by Canadians through their elected representatives.
The filings have raised concerns about the BoC’s intentions and potential pre-empting of public opinion. While the Bank claims it’s “uncertain” if a digital dollar is needed, their move suggests they might have different plans.
The BoC has a history of involvement in digital currency, previously ordering the Royal Canadian Mint to shut down a Bitcoin alternative project in 2014. This raises questions about their stance on private digital currencies and their potential role in a future digital financial landscape.
Adding to the confusion, the Bank released a report in August 2023 stating that a government-issued digital currency wasn’t necessary due to Canadians’ existing access to various payment methods. This further contradicts their recent trademark filings.
The Bank has yet to provide a clear explanation for their actions, leaving Canadians and observers with more questions than answers. The situation highlights the need for transparency and public involvement in shaping the future of digital currency in Canada.