Bank of England launches design phase of its ‘digital pound’ project.
The Bank of England (BoE) is swiftly moving from consideration, to research and hiring, and now to the design phase of the ‘digital pound’.
Numerous countries have recently turned to creating their own central bank digital currency (CBDC) as a way to ‘adopt’ blockchain technology. Among the growing list are China, India, Jamaica, Montenegro, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and many others researching or rolling out pilot versions.
“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,” commented governor Andrew Bailey.
The development of the CBDC is expected to take several years, with a projected release in 2030. The BoE and the Treasury are likely to release a roadmap soon. Spokespeople for the Treasury cite declining cash usage as a prominent reason for the decision.
The potential benefits of CBDCs seem to be greatly outweighed by the looming threat of over-control that they would endow authorities. CBDCs have the potential to pose a threat to individual privacy and freedom, because they are created and controlled by central authorities. These authorities have the ability to track and monitor all transactions made using CBDCs, which can be used to gather personal information and potentially infringe on individual privacy. Additionally, the use of CBDCs could give central authorities more control over the monetary system, potentially limiting the financial freedom of individuals.