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‘Britcoin’ CBDC Is Nothing Like Crypto, Says Bank of England

2 mins
7 February 2023, 18:52 GMT+0000
Updated by Ryan James
7 February 2023, 18:53 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • On Tuesday, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England has told the press to stop calling the UK's CBDC 'Britcoin'.
  • The Bank of England has not decided whether to use Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to operate their CBDC.
  • A four-month public consultation begins today on the future of the 'digital pound.'
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The UK’s central bank, the Bank of England, made it very clear on Tuesday that they do not want you to refer to the country’s CBDC as ‘Britcoin.’ 

British and international press — including CNN, ABC News, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and others — have adopted the term. Its resemblance to the term ‘Bitcoin’ has the bank’s deputy governor worried the UK public would make unfavorable comparisons. 

“The digital pound can be confused in people’s minds with crypto assets such as bitcoin. I should take this opportunity to correct this misapprehension. Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Jon Cunliffe. Most cryptocurrencies are “highly speculative” and have “no intrinsic value.” 

However, it is unlikely the UK press will completely drop the term, despite the BoE’s complaints.

An Alternative To The Pound In Your Pocket

The government has started a four-month consultation process on a CBDC starting on Tuesday. Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor of the exchequer, and Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England governor, say the government could still decide against a CBDC. The consultation paper argues that a digital pound will be needed at some point in the future.

If launched, the Bank of England hopes that UK consumers will use the British CBDC as an alternative to cash. Bank of England officials have said that the digital pound could be in use by the end of the 2020s. This would put the UK years behind countries like China and Jamaica, who have already launched theirs.

The Bank of England has also said that they have yet to decide whether to use Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for the CBDC. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum use DLT (also known as blockchain).

CBDCs carry with them a host of privacy concerns. Digital currencies are controlled by a central state authority and give governments access to all transaction data. They could have wide-reaching implications for tax fraud, money laundering, and criminal finance.


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