Fr. Jun 14th, 2024

The Bank of England published a Consultation Paper, which explores the need for the digital pound and proposes a set of design choices for it:

The digital pound would be a new type of money issued by the Bank of England for everyone to use for day-to-day spending. You would be able to use it in-store or online to make payments.

This type of money is known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC). You may also hear it being called ‘digital sterling’ or even ‘Britcoin’. We call the UK version of CBDC the digital pound.

The digital pound would be denominated in sterling and its value would be stable, just like banknotes. £10 in digital pounds would always have the same value as a £10 banknote.

If we introduced it, it would not replace cash. We know being able to use cash is important for many people. That’s why we will continue to issue it for as long as people want to keep using it.

The digital pound would not be a cryptocurrency or cryptoasset. As opposed to cryptocurrencies, which are issued privately, the digital pound would be issued by the Bank of England and be backed by the Government.

Fund manager/HANetf comment on the UK Treasury announcing that it is ‚likely‘ there will be a digital pound in the future

Following the announcement earlier this week that the Treasury and the Bank of England (BoE) are consulting on introducing a potential digital pound in the UK and that a digital pound is “likely to be needed in the future”, please see below a comment from Hector McNeil, co-CEO and co-Founder of HANetf on this.

“Cash is on the decline, with growing numbers of consumers embracing digital payments. This has spurred on the UK govt to pursue the project of creating a digital pound out of concern the BoE could lose control of this important part of the UK’s financial system. The argument for the digital pound is that the UK state should guard its role of ensuring the stability and usability of money.

Of course, there are all sorts of potential questions about the future of the financial system. Would a digital pound mean less cash held in bank deposits? What does this mean for the business models of commercial banks and their ability to lend? In times of financial stress, would consumers remove their money from commercial banks to their digital wallet, creating the potential for a bank run?

Pre-empting this the UK government has said it will limit the amount that can be held in Digital Pound wallets. But that in turn reduces the attractiveness of the Digital Pound as a means of payment. With the current various methods of digital payments seamless and already in widespread use, what would be the incentive for consumers to instead use Digital Pounds in a limited wallet with restrictions on the amount held?

These questions aside, the move does confirm to us that the future of finance and money is digital.”

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