Britain braces for potential launch of ‘Britcoin’, country’s first digital pound

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Britcoin, a “digital pound” backed by the British state could be launched by the end of 2020s. The development comes after the Bank of England and exchequer ministry set out a roadmap to introduce a new digital currency in the United Kingdom. The individuals of financial expertise quoted in the British media say that a digital pound, which would be issued by the Bank of England, is “likely to be needed in the future” amid the evolving use of cash and cards in Europe and around the world. 

“While cash is here to stay, a digital pound issued and backed by the Bank of England could be a new way to pay that’s trusted, accessible and easy to use,” Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of Exchequer said in an official statement. 

“That’s why we want to investigate what is possible first, whilst always making sure we protect financial stability,” Hunt added. 

The Bank of England will undertake further research and development work while the members of British public are being invited to take part in the consultation process.

New digital currency will not dramatically alter nature of currency exchange

A report in The Independent quoted The Bank of England and the Treasury as saying, that the currency will not dramatically alter how British people use money but that they believe it could help “ensure the public have access to safe money that is convenient to use as our everyday lives become more digital.”

Britcoin: The timeline for potential rollout

The consultation between the exchequer department and the Bank of England is due to take around four months. The design phase of Britcoin is then likely to continue until at least 2025, from which time a final decision could be made. The launch of digital currency may reportedly take place during the latter half of the current decade.

“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,” Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, was quoted as saying by The Independent. 

“A digital pound would provide a new way to pay, help businesses, maintain trust in money and better protect financial stability,” he added. 

Countries around the world are also considering similar proposals, such as the US, India, China and the Eurozone.

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