Royal Canadian Mint halts digital currency programme

The Royal Canadian Mint, an entity owned by the Canadian federal government, has halted its plans to develop the digital currency programme and is now planning to sell the business.

The Royal Canadian Mint, an entity owned by the Canadian federal government, has halted its plans to develop the digital currency programme and is now planning to sell the business.

In 2012, Mint announced plans to develop a digital currency, MintChip, which would provide users with instant, private, secure and fee-free access to their money.

Mint spokeswoman, Christine Aquino, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying that plans regarding the virtual currency matured and that the Mint considers turning development over to the private sector one of MintChip’s natural next steps.

"The Mint is currently working with the [Canadian] Department of Finance to explore divestiture options.

"The Mint is also in the process of completing development of MintChip to package the assets for divestiture," Aquino added.

Mint recently partnered with SecureKey Technologies to develop a software to make MintChip transactions secure, and with Paris-based Ingenico to create a terminal for use by retailers to process MintChip transactions.