British authorities are exploring the possibility of creating a new digital currency that Treasury chief Rishi Sunak has dubbed “Britcoin”.
The Bank of England and the Treasury said Monday (19) that they will work together to assess the benefits of a central bank's digital currency, at a time when cash payments are generally declining, partly also as a result of the pandemic. of the coronavirus.
The news was advanced today by APNews (Associeted Press), adding that the bank said that the new currency, if approved, will be a new form of digital money for domestic and business use and will coexist together with cash and bank deposits, at the same time. instead of replacing them.
Digital currencies, which are only available in digital or electronic form, are already being explored or even implemented in several other countries, with many proponents drawing inspiration from the success of Bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies. However, digital currencies, such as the one being considered in the UK, are different in a fundamental sense from Bitcoin, as they are issued by state authorities, read in the news from APNews.
"The world is following the path of digital currencies and we have to find a place for them in the mainstream," said Anne Boden, founder and chief executive of Starling Bank, based on applications.
One of the benefits of a digital currency would be as a backup for card payments if cash payments continue to fall over the next few years – by the end of this decade, only one in ten payments in the UK is expected to be made with the traditional paper money. Proponents of digital currencies also think they can provide another way for people to shop online.
Currently, only the Bahamas has this currency, although China is testing it in several cities. Sweden indicated that it could have its own digital currency by 2026, while the European Central Bank indicated that an electronic euro could be created in a period of four years.
The new British action is part of a series of measures that Treasury Chief Sunak hopes to help the UK's financial technology sector.
"Our vision is for a more open, green and technologically advanced financial services sector," he said at a conference at fintech. "And if we can capture the extraordinary potential of technology, we will cement the UK's position as the most prominent financial center in the world."
Promoting Monday's Twitter announcement, Sunak was brief. "Britcoin?", So postulated.