Based on this article, the Canadian government has announced that Bitcoin is not considered legal tender. This means that it does not compete with the Canadian dollar in the eyes of the finance department.
Subsequently, Bitcoin avoids regulation or potentially being banned in Canada. This is good news for Bitcoin enthusiasts within Canada.
“Only Canadian bank notes and coins are recognized as legal tender in Canada. Bitcoin digital ‘currency’ is not legal tender in Canada,” an official from Canada’s finance department said in an emailed statement.
The official declined to comment on whether the government plans to license money exchanges that would convert bitcoins for real currency such as the Canadian dollar.
The Canadian government, along with regulators including the central bank and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, will continue to monitor developments involving virtual currencies, the official added.
Financial-stability considerations are what would prompt the Bank of Canada to take a greater interest in bitcoins and other alternative means of payment, said Alexandre Deslongchamps, spokesman for the Bank of Canada.
“Smaller, stand-alone payment systems for which there are many substitutes – like bitcoin — should generally require much less intensive oversight and regulation because they pose much less risk to the Canadian financial system as a whole,” Mr. Deslongchamps said. “Nevertheless, these payment systems should be designed and operated to meet the needs of Canadians which would include convenience and ease of use, price, reliability, safety, and effective redress mechanisms.”