Canada: Canada’s blockchain block out

The Bank of Canada has decided that the nation will not integrate blockchain technology into its interbank payments system.

The announcement came in a report on a recent study into the use of distributed ledge technology. A distributed ledger is a database that is shared and synchronised between a number of users, such as banks, and can be used to maintain a record of transactions without the need for a central authority to monitor fraudulent transactions.

According to Senior Deputy Governor for the Central Bank, Carolyn Wilkins, and Gerry Gaetz from Payments Canada, there are several issues that make integrating blockchain technology impractical, at least in the short term. Some of the challenges that need to be overcome include scalability and maintaining privacy around wholesale payments.

However, integrating the technology has not been completely ruled out, with Wilkins and Gaetz stating that ‘one day’ the technology could enter the Canadian interbank system. In the meantime, Canada will continue work to digitise its payments systems.

Digitising the payments system seems to align with consumer expectations, with data from an RFi Group’s Canada Payments Council survey finding that 40% of Canadians can envision a cashless society, up by 2% from late 2016.

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