The UK plans to launch a digital pound as it remains committed to becoming a cryptocurrency hub, a government official has said. British authorities should also regulate payments with stablecoins, according to the official.
UK prepares to start consultation on pound digital currency
The executive branch in London is considering the introduction of a digital version of the national currency, Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith has told lawmakers, the BBC reported. A public consultation on the attributes of a digital book will be launched in the coming weeks, he said, addressing the parliamentary Treasury committee. Quoted by Reuters, he also pointed out:
The consultation will say that it is an if and not a when. We are not fully aware of the inevitability of doing so.
An e-book raises many public policy issues that the government needs to “fix” them, Griffith said. He raised concerns that a state-backed coin could erode privacy, insisting that its design would not allow authorities to track individual transactions beyond measures targeting crime like money laundering. silver.
Griffith further explained that the first use case of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by the Bank of England would likely be in wholesale settlements, but admitted that a retail-issued, fiat-backed stablecoin would “probably get there first.”
“I want to see us establish a regime, and that is within the FSMB, for the wholesale use for payment purposes of stablecoins,” the minister added referring to the Services and Markets Bill. finance, currently being debated in the British Parliament.
UK Could Adopt Wider Crypto Regulations Than EU
Andrew Griffith also revealed that another consultation will be launched on the UK’s regulatory approach to crypto assets in general. While the EU has already agreed a comprehensive set of rules for the market which is due to come into force in 2024, the Minister stressed that UK regulation could be even broader and include decentralized finance.
“We want the right regime, operated the right way, that strikes the right balances,” he told committee members while pledging to hold several roundtables with industry participants as part of discussions.
Andrew Griffith’s statements come after last year’s plunge in valuations of major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and the subsequent collapse of big market players such as crypto exchange FTX. Amid an ongoing crypto winter, consumer protections in the space have come under intense scrutiny, reports note.
Do you expect the UK to develop and issue a digital book? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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