Is the UK Government Working on a Cryptocurrency to Rival Bitcoin?
Treasury denies launch but doesn't rule it out entirely
-by Jay Greenberg |@NeonNettle
Rumors have been swirling recently that the UK Government may be secretly developing a cryptocurrency to rival the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum. The British Treasury has just denied that the Bank of England is about to launch a digital currency, but they didn't rule out the idea entirely. The UK's Central Bank had been investigating cryptocurrencies for a while now, which is what prompted the rumors about a virtual currency launch in the first place. An official from the British Government has dispelled reports of an imminent launch but also suggested that that may be developing something to release in the future.
Coin Thud reports: The Bank of England is actively observing the potential impact of a government introducing its own cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are a threat to traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar and British pound.The UK’s central bank has been long rumored to be investigating the possibilities opened up by crypto.It is some of these explorations that have led to the rumors that the UK Government could launch a digital currency of its own, either instead of the pound or alongside it.Reports that the Bank of England was planning to introduce such technology have been denied by a senior UK Government minister, however.
Not Rule Out EntirelyAt the beginning of February, Labour MP, Barry Sheerman asked:
“whether the Government will introduce a fiat digital currency.”Now, the government has responded and confirmed that it isn’t launching a cryptocurrency. John Glen, the City minister, denied the claims in a statement but suggested the UK Government had looked into it and hadn’t ruled it out for the future, saying: “The Bank of England does not currently plan to issue a central bank-issued digital currency.“However, the Bank is undertaking research to better understand the implications of a central bank issuing a digital currency.” The Bank of England’s website states that it is watching the development of cryptocurrencies on its digital currencies page. It goes on to say that it doesn’t see any immediate threat from cryptocurrency:
“We have assessed private digital currencies and concluded that while they are interesting, they do not currently pose a material risk to monetary or financial stability in the UK.“We continue to monitor developments in this area.”