Rishi Sunak has hosed down any suggestion that the government could replace cash with a digital currency dubbed “Britcoin”.
Earlier this week, U.K Chancellor Rishi Sunak, opted social media to address country’s plan for a digital currency. In his statement on LinkedIn, Rishi Sunak mentioned that government wants to ensure the UK is at the “cutting edge” of innovation and technology in financial services.
“…so it’s right that we explore the potential role of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) to understand the wide-ranging opportunities and challenges they could bring,” he wrote. “A CBDC would, potentially, be a new form of digital money issued by the Bank of England and for use by households and businesses. It would exist alongside cash and bank deposits.”Rishi Sunak
The Chancellor was pushing plans to introduce a new digital currency which could forever change how we spend. Essentially, the Britcoin would be a digital version of the physical currency we currently use – the British pound sterling.
In reference to his tweet, Rishi Sunak clarified that if a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) was implemented it would exist as a complement to cash and not serve as a replacement. Sunak added that the government and the Bank of England had not yet made a decision on whether to introduce a CBDC into the UK.
Earlier in the Spring the government launched a joint task force with the Bank of England to explore the case for introducing a Central Bank Digital Currency in the UK, along with two new forums to engage technical experts, and key stakeholders (including financial institutions, merchants, business users, and civil society groups) through the process.
In June, the Bank of England had published a discussion, setting out its emerging thoughts on new forms of digital money, including privately-sponsored ‘stablecoins’ as well as Central Bank Digital Currency.
“But just as importantly, any potential UK Central Bank Digital Currency would exist as a complement to cash and bank deposits, and not a replacement,” said the chancellor. “We know that cash remains vital for millions of people and are fully committed to ensuring people across the UK can continue to access it.”Rishi Sunak
‘Britcoin’: Current status
The British CBDC concept is still currently under a review by a joint task force between the UK treasury and the Bank of England. However, the rumours still managed to spread. It ended up with an official statement on LinkedIn with the Chancellor stating that any potential UK Central Bank Digital Currency(CBDC) would exist as a compliment to cash and bank deposit and not a replacement to cash.
Many countries have launched their CBDC, but there is a limit to how much someone can hold using them digitally. But then again, can we actually believe Sunak’s official statements?