Bank of Canada announces job opening for digital economist

The winning candidate will look into digital currencies and CBDCs

Image of The Bank of Canada, downtown Ottawa
Canada joins a growing number of countries that are looking into incorporating a CBDC

The Bank of Canada (BOC) has posted a job opening for an economist with a comprehensive knowledge of financial technologies and digital currencies. Many speculate this could be the latest step that the BOC is taking towards the creation of a Canadian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

The bank’s official website states that the role of the economist would be to monitor and analyse all the latest developments related to electronic funds and payments. They will also be responsible for implementing research projects, preparing analytical notes, and working on the “potential development of a CBDC.”

“The Bank of Canada is engaged in a large-scale research program to analyze the risks and opportunities of these new developments. A key part of this program is the monitoring framework for money and payments and the contingency planning for a central bank digital currency (CBDC),” the statement explained.

The applicant is expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. They must also be familiar with traditional payments systems, such as merchant acquirers, point of sale technologies (POS) and card networks.

They are also expected to have experience in handling and analysing public blockchain data, and analysing consumer survey data. The deadline for receiving applications is on October 25, 2020.

The BOC added that it is willing to consider filling this position on a temporary basis, through the Financial Institutions Supervisory Committee (FISC) Interchange Program.

“Assignments are for a fixed duration that can be up to three consecutive years but will typically last between 12 and 24 months (depending on operational needs) and are salary neutral. There is a minimum gap period of two years before a former participant may participate again through the Program,” the announcement read.

Timothy Lane, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Canada, recently released an announcement on central banks worldwide to issue their own digital currencies, which highlight their importance for the economy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lane also revealed at the Central Bank Payments Conference that Canada’s development of its own CBDC was progressing “at a good pace.”

The BOC joins other central banks around the world, such as the Bank of England, the People’s Bank of China, the Bank of Japan, and the US Federal Reserve in the research and development of CBDCs.

China has already started its pilot project of the digital Yuan in four cities. It is likely to be the first country to issue a digital version of its currency.