Ripple, Avalanche join independent group to support the development of a digital UK pound | Currency News | Financial and Business News

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UK officials are looking into possibly launching a digital pound sterling.

  • Blockchain-based companies Ripple and Avalanche have joined a group to support the creation of a digital UK pound.
  • The Digital Pound Foundation is an independent group aiming to support the launch of a ‘well-designed” digitized currency for Britain.
  • The Bank of England is working on what UK’s finance minister has dubbed a potential “Britcoin”.

Ripple and Avalanche will work on advancing the creation of a digitized UK pound through an independent forum, as UK officials explore the possibility of a central bank digital currency.

The Digital Pound Foundation will support the implementation of a “well-designed digital Pound” and digital-money ecosystem, the group said in a statement for its launch Thursday. The independent organization was incorporated in June and proposed a model under which public and private sectors could work together to drive the UK’s transition to a digital economy.

“If the UK is to maintain its globally competitive lead in fintech and financial innovation, it needs to create a digital Pound, and a healthy ecosystem for digital money,” the foundation said Thursday.

Ripple said it is a founding member of the group and that Susan Friedman, its head of public policy, will join the board. Avalanche was listed as an associate member on the foundation’s website. Lee Schneider, general counsel for blockchain software company Ava Labs, which created Avalanche, is listed as an originating member.

The Bank of England and the UK Treasury are spearheading discussions about potentially implementing a central bank digital currency or CBDC.

Members of the Digital Pound Foundation will conduct research and run ‘hands-on’ exploratory projects, among other activities, aimed to help roll out a digital pound. The foundation said ​​CBDCs and other digital-money forms can leverage technology to develop features such as programmable money, more inclusive payments services, and a “more robust and resilient” payments infrastructure.

The Bank of England and the UK Treasury are spearheading discussions about potentially implementing a central bank digital currency, or CBDC. “Britcoin” is what British finance minister Rishi Sunak earlier this year dubbed a possible cryptocurrency backed by the Bank of England.

The foundation, citing a 2020 study by the Bank for International Settlements, said 10% of central banks surveyed representing 20% of the world’s population are likely to issue a CBDC for the general public in the next three years or less.

​​CBDCs and other digital-money forms can leverage technology to develop features such as programmable money, more inclusive payments services, and a “more robust and resilient” payments infrastructure, the independent group said.

“Technology is transforming human interaction and money must adapt to that. The world has become a global laboratory realizing the benefits of a new form of money,” said Jeremy Wilson, chairman of the Digital Pound Foundation, in a statement. Wilson also serves as chairman of the Whitechapel Think Tank, a forum focused on disruptive innovation in financial services.

Ripple’s XRP token during Thursday’s trading session rose 5.5% at $1.15, according to CoinGecko, and Avalanche’s AVAX token gained 3.6% to $55.60.

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