Canadian ex-premier Harper: Bitcoin could displace US dollar

The former prime minister of Canada worries about the stability of the U.S. dollar and brings up Bitcoin as a possible alternative, among other things.

The attitude of high-ranking politicians towards Bitcoin and Co. is reserved in most cases.

Only a few publicly take pro-crypto positions. Cryptocurrencies are still written off as a threat to financial stability. Stephen Harper, who held the office of Canadian Prime Minister between 2006 and 2015, is different. Harper is now bringing Bitcoin, among others, into play as a possible competitor for the U.S. dollar.

When asked which types of currencies could take over from the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, Harper replied during an interview with Cambridge House that both Bitcoin and digital central bank currencies are conceivable options. To be sure, the euro and Chinese yuan are the only sovereign currencies that can threaten the supremacy of the U.S. dollar, he said. But value fluctuations on the one hand and regulatory arbitrariness on the other eliminated both candidates in the race for the global reserve currency.

Rather, a basket consisting of gold, bitcoin and other assets could prevail as an alternative. Meaningfully, Harper said:

It’s hard to see what the alternative to the U.S. dollar is as the world’s primary reserve currency. Apart from gold, bitcoin and a whole basket of things. I think you’ll see the number of things people use as reserves increase, but the U.S. dollar will still make up the bulk of it.

In particular, he said, the steady development of digital central bank currencies will become more important in the future. These are superior to traditional fiat currencies for efficiency reasons, he said. In this respect, however, Harper fears an excessive concentration of power at central banks, which could slip into the role of bankers in the future and thus exceed their powers as a controlling body.