British government sets up digital currency task force for central bank

Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Bank of England have begun preliminary investigations into central bank digital currencies that could result in the creation of a national digital currency.

In a document published by HM Treasury, the Treasury announced the creation of a CBDC task force in conjunction with the UK central bank.

Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Katharine Braddick, Director General of Financial Services at HM Treasury, will co-chair the task force.

According to the terms of reference document, the Task Force will bring together the efforts of all relevant UK legal bodies related to CBDC development.

As part of its tasks, the Task Force will examine preliminary issues related to the design, implementation and operation of a CBDC in the UK.The Task Force will also liaise with stakeholders in academia, fintech and other relevant industries to evaluate the identify technological hurdles. in creating a sovereign digital currency.

The HM Treasury and BoE joint task force will also monitor CBDC-related developments on the international stage, especially as other countries are actively exploring their own central bank digital currency projects.

According to a BoE press release issued Monday, the central bank will also run its own internal CBDC unit headed by Jon Cunliffe.

The creation of the task force is yet another indication of the UK government’s focus on digital currencies and fintech in the wake of Brexit. In November 2020, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Treasury, said Brexit offered the UK an opportunity to revamp its financial services sector.

Since Brexit, Sunak has overseen a major policy shift toward leveraging new fintech innovations such as CBDC and stablecoins. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, UK Financial Services Secretary John Glen has identified stablecoin regulation as the government’s main focus on cryptocurrency regulation.

According to a report from Reuters, the UK’s financial market focus is also extending to distributed ledger technology companies. Sunak announced at a conference on the financial sector on Monday that the government plans to set up a fintech sandbox for blockchain startups.