I've been reading a lot that Canada no longer considers bitcoin legal tender.

"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.

It can be read in all of these places:

among others. However, not a single one that I can find sites the source document. They all just seem to refer to each other. Does anyone have a copy of the email or government source document stating this? I'll also accept proof that the document never existed as a valid answer.

  • 3
    The perceived impact of this depends completely on how "legal tender" is defined. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_tender might be useful reading. Note the list of common payment instruments which are not usually considered legal tender. Feb 3, 2014 at 16:59
  • Given the country is the authority for setting legal tender in their territory, it is within their discretion to do so. Remember something like Bitcoin is only legal as tender if both the "seller" of good and the "buyer" mutually agree to accept it. That is not within the control of the country. They can only say they won't accept it as legal tender for anything involving them, such as taxes, paying debts and so on.
    – user7448
    Feb 3, 2014 at 19:14
  • The country has come out and said that they don't consider bitcoin legal tender. I'm looking for the source document that actually says that.
    – Loourr
    Feb 3, 2014 at 20:22
  • 3
    Your "no longer" is misleading. As Greg's answer suggests, Bitcoin was never legal tender. Note that does not mean that it's illegal to use! "Legal tender" has a very specific meaning. What this means is that, for instance, if you owe somebody money and offer to pay them in Bitcoin, they can refuse it and sue you instead. The same is true if you offer to pay them by check, credit card, or in gold; those are not legal tender either. Feb 3, 2014 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


The Currency Act defines what is meant by legal tender in Canada:

Legal tender

8. (1) Subject to this section, a tender of payment of money is a legal tender if it is made
(a) in coins that are current under section 7; and
(b) in notes issued by the Bank of Canada pursuant to the Bank of Canada Act intended for 
circulation in Canada.

Since these are the only two forms of payment considered legal tender, and bitcoins are quite clearly neither of these, the conclusion must be that bitcoins are not legal tender in Canada. Note that the Act doesn't explicitly have to name Bitcoin for this conclusion to nevertheless be true.

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