UK Treasury and Bank of England launch CBDC taskforce to explore digital currency options

Bank of England central bank digital currency graphic
PRACTICALITIES: The Bank of England and UK Treasury are coordinating research into the digital pound

The UK Treasury and the Bank of England have established a central bank digital currency (CBDC) taskforce to coordinate research into the benefits, risks and practicalities of introducing a digital pound.

The two institutions are also to establish a CBDC Engagement Forum and a CBDC Technology Forum comprising key stakeholders and technical experts to consider all technological and non-technological aspects of the design, implementation and operation of a UK digital currency.

“The Taskforce aims to ensure a strategic approach is adopted between the UK authorities as they explore CBDC, in line with their statutory objectives, and to promote close coordination between them,” the Bank of England said in a statement.

“The Taskforce will: coordinate exploration of the objectives, use cases, opportunities and risks of a potential UK CBDC; guide evaluation of the design features a CBDC must display to achieve our goals; support a rigorous, coherent and comprehensive assessment of the overall case for a UK CBDC; [and] monitor international CBDC developments to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global innovation.”

The Bank of England also announced the creation of its own CBDC unit to oversee its internal work on a CBDC and engage with other UK and international bodies.

The Bank of England is one of seven central banks that formed a CBDC working group with the Bank for International Settlements in January 2020 and published a set of ground rules for digital currencies in October 2020.

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