This Monday, Rishi Sunak , UK Finance Minister, confirmed in a statement that the British Central Bank is analyzing the possibility of creating a national cryptocurrency . This opens the door to the likely launch of a digital currency, which has been given the unofficial name of ‘Britcoin’ .
“Our vision is a more open, greener and more technologically advanced financial services sector. The UK is already known to be at the forefront of innovation, but we have to go further , ”Sunak said according to a statement posted on the British Government’s website.
“The steps I outlined today – to drive fintech growth, push the boundaries of digital finance, and make our financial markets more efficient – will propel us forward. And if we can capture the extraordinary potential of technology, we will consolidate the UK’s position as the world’s leading financial center , ”the official added.
Sunak also revealed that a task force has already been formed to analyze the viability of an official digital currency.
“We have created a new working group between the Treasury and the Bank of England to coordinate exploratory work on a possible central bank digital currency ,” said the minister during the UK FinTech Week conference, Reuters quotes.
Later, Sunak responded with the word ‘Britcoin’ to a post on Twitter from the Ministry of Finance, where they confirm the initiative.
In this regard, the Bank of England released a statement on Monday, saying that a digital version of the British pound would not replace physical cash or affect existing bank accounts.
“The Government and Bank of England have yet to make a decision on the introduction of a Central Bank-backed digital currency in the UK , and will work closely with stakeholders to study benefits, risks and practicalities of this decision.” the institution declared.
Faced with the cryptocurrency boom in the last year, the United Kingdom is not the only one considering launching an institutional digital currency. Also countries such as China or Russia are exploring the possibilities of issuing a ‘crypto’ version of their national currencies.