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UK Seeks CBDC Expertise for ‘Digital Pound’

The UK’s treasury department is advertising for three roles as it explores the potential of cryptocurrencies

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
UK Seeks CBDC Expertise for ‘Digital Pound’

The UK government is seeking to fill three roles as it explores the potential uses of cryptocurrencies by central banks.

It has advertised on LinkedIn for a head of central bank digital currency (CBDC), as well as a policy adviser and senior policy adviser.

The head of CBDC role would lead the work of the UK’s treasury department as its Payments and Fintech team explores the use cases for a “digital pound” and advises the country’s government on digital currency.

The job description states: “Digital innovation is changing the landscape for payments and money. The use of physical money is declining while new forms of private sector digital money are emerging. These changes offer exciting opportunities for UK businesses and consumers, but also present new challenges and risks.”

The UK Treasury and the Bank of England have created a CBDC Taskforce to explore how a state-backed digital currency might work in practice. The new head of CBDC would be responsible for building a team to deliver on plans set out by the taskforce.

The UK is the latest country to explore the potential of CBDCs. The Bank of Canada partnered with Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year to assess the case for a digital Canadian dollar, while MIT has also worked with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on a similar project in the US.

However, the idea of a ‘digital dollar’ has met with strong opposition from US banks. The American Bankers Association wrote to the Federal Reserve last year to express its concern that a CBDC lacked “compelling use cases” and could “fundamentally rewire” the banking system.

Independent Community Bankers of America has also voiced its opposition to the idea, suggesting that the risks “far outweigh the uncertain and unproven benefits cited by CBDC advocates”.

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