Last Updated on February 8, 2023
The Bank of England, in conjunction with the United Kingdom’s Treasury, is exploring the possibility of a digital currency that will “likely” become a “necessity” in the near future.
“On the basis of our work to date, the Bank of England and HM Treasury judge that it is likely a digital pound will be needed in the future,” said Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and finance minister Jeremy Hunt in a joint report.
“It is too early to commit to build the infrastructure for one, but we are convinced that further preparatory work is justified,” the report continued, according to The Telegraph.
The Bank of England declined to comment on the paper’s report, but said a joint consultation on digital currency issues would be published shortly.
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asked the Bank of England to explore the possibility of a digital currency in 2021, when he was serving as finance minister. In October, financial services minister Andrew Griffith said Britain could not avoid the issue indefinitely.
Elsewhere on the continent, the European Central Bank is working on a digital version of its currency and is in the process of outlining the broader design, Reuters reported. In a statement last month, the European Central Bank stated that it would not offer personal bank accounts, though it would allow person-to-person payments.
The Bank of International Settlements, a forum for central banks, announced this past June that digital currencies are needed to “modernize finance.”