Will the digital pound replace cash?

The world of finance is rapidly evolving, and with it, the way we manage our money. The Bank of England and HM Treasury have taken a bold step towards the future of finance by publishing a joint consultation on the potential for a UK central bank digital currency – a “digital pound.” This consultation serves as a call to action for banks to increase their collaboration with the DeFi and crypto space to remain at the forefront of innovation and keep pace with change.

A digital pound would be a new form of digital money for everyday payments, sitting alongside cash as a trusted digital counterpart to banknotes and coins. It would be subject to high standards of privacy and data protection, ensuring public trust in money remains strong. Unlike crypto assets and stablecoins, the digital pound would be a central bank digital currency, issued by the Bank of England, and not the private sector.

This move towards a digital pound is a recognition of the changing landscape of money and payments, and the need to meet the evolving needs of individuals and businesses. The Bank of England and the Government believe that preparatory work is necessary to respond to new technologies, international developments, and fresh opportunities.

Over the next four months, officials from both departments will engage with experts, the public, and organisations across the UK to gather views on a potential digital pound. This consultation is an opportunity for the wider community to contribute to the future of finance and shape the future of the digital pound.

In conclusion, the consultation on the digital pound is a critical step towards the UK’s ability to act decisively and introduce a digital pound, should the need arise. Banks must take this as a sign of the changing times and collaborate with the DeFi and crypto space to ensure they are ready for the future.