According to a Telegraph report on February 4, the Bank of England (BoE) and Treasury believe the United Kingdom will need to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by 2030.
According to a government source, the “digital pound” roadmap will be unveiled next week. On February 7, Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe is scheduled to update the BoE’s work on the CDBC. “Based on our work to date, the Bank of England and HM Treasury believe that a digital pound is likely to be required in the future,” said Governor Andrew Bailey and Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt to the Telegraph.
Cash and coin payments in the United Kingdom are expected to fall by 35% in 2020, according to reports. One in every six payments is made in cash, with the remaining five made with debit or credit cards. A central bank digital currency is a digital version of fiat currency that is 1:1 tied to fiat reserves, allowing citizens and businesses to manage funds much more efficiently and affordably.
The announcement comes just a few days after the UK’s economic and finance ministry advertised an open position for a head of the central bank digital currency on LinkedIn. The role was described as “important, complex, and cross-cutting,” requiring “extensive engagement across and beyond the HM Treasury.”
The digital pound is one of many CBDCs that are expected to be introduced around the world in the coming years. The European Central Bank (ECB) has been debating the viability of a digital euro, and several countries, including Sweden and Denmark, have begun to investigate the concept of digital currencies.