A digital pound is "likely to be needed in the future," with the UK authorities likely to decide on its introduction in the second half of this decade, the UK Treasury and the Bank of England said on Tuesday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th February, 2023) A digital pound is "likely to be needed in the future," with the UK authorities likely to decide on its introduction in the second half of this decade, the UK Treasury and the Bank of England said on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, the government's economic ministry and the country's central bank started formal consultations on the need to introduce a "Britcoin" digital currency in the future.
"Proceeding to the design phase now will enable a digital pound to be introduced in the second half of the decade," the UK Treasury and the Bank of England said in a joint consultation paper.
The authorities added it was too early to definitely say whether the country would introduce the digital pound in coming years, as the government needed first to investigate the operational features and technology required to deliver the currency � the purpose for which the joint consultations were launched.
"Any future digital pound would be a major piece of national infrastructure which would likely take several years to complete ... The journey towards issuing any digital pound therefore necessarily involves an open, national conversation about the future of our money, in parallel with detailed technical consideration by experts across the UK public authorities, and informed by evolving market trends," the paper read.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies, a potential Britcoin will be issued by the Bank of England, and not the private sector. It will not replace physical cash or existing bank accounts as there will be a cap on the number of digital pounds initially, according to the consultation paper.
At the same time, if current trends in new forms of digital money continue, "the digital pound is likely to be needed in the future, alongside cash, to anchor the monetary system," the UK authorities said.