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Bank of Canada Survey Shows Canadians Prefer to Use Cash Rather Than Crypto

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 1 min read
crypto in Canada

According to the Bank of Canada’s sixth Methods-of-Payment (MOP) report released on July 3, Crypto in Canada is not yet widely adopted. Despite the growing interest in digital currencies globally, many Canadians still prefer to use cash for their transactions.

In the latest survey, 4,000 respondents completed a detailed questionnaire about their spending habits, revealing that cash is a popular choice for transactions in 2023. The finding suggests that crypto in Canada still has a long way to go in terms of mainstream acceptance.

Crypto in Canada: Cash Still King, But Alternatives Rise

According to the MOP report, about 20% of all purchases in 2023 were made using cash. Alternative payment options have also seen an increase, however.

The most popular alternative payment option for Canadians is the e-Transfer. According to the report, 58% of Canadian respondents used this option in 2023, a 7% increase from 2022. This is closely followed by the e-wallet option PayPal, which has an adoption rate of 35%.

Despite the increase in these alternative payment options, less than 3% of Canadians truly used Bitcoin as a payment option. This contradicts the adoption of Bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs) in Canada.

The North American country is the second-largest Bitcoin ATM hub in the world, with over 3,000 machines installed. In fact, the first crypto ATM was installed in Vancouver, Canada, in 2013.

When asked whether they plan to go cashless in the future, 80% of the respondents said they have no plan to stop using cash.

The study is similar to an unrelated study conducted by Payments Canada, where the group polled 1,500 respondents who shared their reservations about going cashless. The respondents said they prefer cash because it is free from bank fees and privacy breaches and can be used even during internet outages.

Crypto Finds Favor with Canada’s Institutions

Despite the slow crypto adoption in Canada, institutions are showing interest in the asset class. In April, a KPMG report revealed that 39% of institutional investors in Canada had crypto exposure in 2023. The survey highlighted that about 4 out of 10 respondents had direct or direct exposure, which was a 31% increase from 2021.

For many of these investors, the improved custody market and a maturing market were the catalysts for their involvement in crypto investing. For many of these institutions, the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) marked a watershed moment.