In a recent interview with Maclean’s magazine, Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins spoke about financial technology (fintech) and electronic money.
Asked why the fintech revolution is interesting to her, Wilkins said, “It’s a discussion that has implications for central banks and the financial system, either because we oversee payment clearing and settlement systems, and we may want to adopt some of this technology, or just because it has implications for how we conduct monetary policy or how the financial system’s risks are propagated through the system.”
She added, “My view, ones that’s shared by governing council and my colleagues, is that we need to get in early to understand this technology. We need to look under the hood and see it as it develops.”
With respect to cryptocurrency such as bitcoin and whether the Bank of Canada would get behind it, Wilkins told Maclean’s that she thinks it is quite early to speculate on where such activity would play out.
“What I can say, though, is that we are actively researching the merits and disadvantage of a central bank issuing e-money,” she said.
In a November 2014 speech at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she served as an economist-in-residence, Wilkins said the Bank of Canada was monitoring risks posed by new means of electronic money. It was reported at the time that the central bank was researching the prospective merits of issuing e-money.
Carolyn Wilkins’ photo – Her profile on Bank of Canada’s website