The Bank of England and the U.K. Treasury will begin a consultation next year to assess the case for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
- Should it conclude that there is a case for a digital pound, the earliest that one could be rolled out is the second half of the decade, the Bank of England announced Tuesday.
- The consultation will explore design features, benefits and implications for users to determine whether a CBDC that is operationally and technologically robust can be developed.
- The announcement of the consultation follows the formation of two forums to explore the issue. The members were named in September and included Asos, PayPal, Spotify, Mastercard, Visa, HSBC and Standard Chartered.
- The Bank of England and the Treasury said no decision has been made yet on whether a CBDC will introduced. Such a digital currency would exist alongside cash and bank deposits rather than replacing them.