British Bitcoin? The UK is considering a new digital currency

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British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak

War Who Jones e David Milligen

LONDON (Reuters) – British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday told the Bank of England to explore the possibility of a new “bitcoin” or digital currency backed by the central bank, which aims to address some of the challenges posed by cryptocurrencies. Such as Bitcoin.

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The digital version of the pound sterling supported by the BoE will allow companies and consumers to maintain direct accounts with the bank, bypassing others when making payments, and by changing the role of lenders in the financial system.

“We are launching a new working group between the Treasury and the Bank of England to coordinate the research work of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CPTC),” Sunak told a Finance Department conference.

Soon after, Sunak tweeted the word “Britcoin”, a combination of the words “UK” and the digital currency “Bitcoin” from the United Kingdom.

Other central banks are also studying the possibility of creating digital versions of their own currencies, mainly expanding access to central bank funds, which at this time can only be used by commercial banks. This will expedite domestic and external payments and reduce the risks to financial stability.

China is at the forefront of launching the CPTC. Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was studying money in an electronic form to replenish rupee notes and coins, but any publication is still years away.

The BoE said the digital version of the pound sterling would not change physical money, nor would it change existing bank accounts.

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“The government and the Bank of England have not yet made a decision on the introduction of a CPTC in the UK and will be widely involved with stakeholders on the benefits, risks and practices of doing so,” Boe said.

(Additional report by Tom Wilson)

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