‘Britcoin’ likely to be in use this decade

07 Feb 2023

A digital Pound will likely be launched later this decade, says the Bank of England (BoE) and the Treasury.

According to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, the central-bank digital currency (CBDC) could be a new “trusted and accessible” way to pay, as both the BoE and Treasury want to make sure people can access safe money that’s simple to use as the world becomes increasingly digitalised, BBC reports.

The UK government is accelerating its response to the rise of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins with a four-month public consultation process on the so-called ‘Britcoin’ getting underway on Tuesday.

Officials are set to consider the technical issues surrounding the creation of a CBDC before a final decision is made by the middle of the decade, reports The Guardian.

Should the digital Pound be given the green light, substantial investment would be required to launch the currency, and there may be preliminary restrictions on how much of the currency individuals and businesses could hold.

According to Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey: “As the world around us and the way we pay for things becomes more digitalised, the case for a digital Pound in the future continues to grow. A digital Pound would provide a new way to pay, help businesses, maintain trust in money and better protect financial stability.

“However, there are a number of implications which our technical work will need to carefully consider. This consultation and the further work the Bank will now do will be the foundation for what would be a profound decision for the country on the way we use money,” he added.

deVere CEO and founder Nigel Green said of the news: “The announcement reflects what we and many others have been saying for a long time: that digital currencies are an inevitability in the ever more digital world that we live in.  

“If tech is increasingly at the core of how we live, work, do business and much more, it’s logical to have money that also tech-driven too.”

He went on to say: “It seems that this is now a view shared by the UK government.”

‘Britcoin’ would be issued by the Bank of England and used for online and face-to-face payments. In addition, it would be interchangeable with cash and bank deposits and issued in denominations of Sterling, The Guardian report adds.