Reserve currency: Stephen Harper on why Bitcoin could be in reserve alternatives to the U.S. dollar

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According to Stephen Harper, Bitcoin may be part of a basket of reserve alternatives to the US dollar.

Stephen Harper, who served as Canada’s prime minister for nine years, says there might be a role for Bitcoin and the central bank’s digital currencies as part of a reserve currency basket to replace the dollar.

In today’s Vancouver Resource Investment Meeting, Harper interviewed Jay Martin of the Cambridge House Investment Service.

The prospect of replacing the US dollar may only come from a big currency such as the euro or the Chinese yuan. He expressed doubts that any of them would be a suitable substitute currency, given the long-term uncertainties about the value of the euro and the “arbitrary measures” that the Chinese government would take regarding the value of the yuan:

“It’s hard to see what the alternative is to the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency. Other than gold, Bitcoin, a whole basket of things […] I think you’ll see the number of things that people use as reserves will expand, but the U.S. dollar will still be the bulk of it.”

The former prime minister added that he felt the central bank’s digital currencies, or CBDCs, were to a degree “inevitable” but would definitely be subject to monetary policy across the world. Harper said he was worried that central banks would become “kind of a general banker” rather than just a financial controller, something that could affect the roll-out of every CBDC:

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“Ultimately, if you have a digital currency and the purpose of the central bank is to control inflation and create a stable currency and priceability, then digital currency is just kind of an evolution of the marketplace,” said Harper. “But if it’s part of a series of what I think are wild experiments as to the role of central banking, then it worries me a lot.”

Harper served as Canada’s Prime Minister from 2006 to 2015. Crypto and blockchain usage in the country has increased dramatically since its exit, with Canada gaining its first controlled crypto exchange in September. According to Timothy Lane, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, the Bank is also pushing forwards with the creation of the CBDC.

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