The Bank of England (BoE) has strengthened its efforts of exploring the feasibility of a central bank digital currency by partnering with a long list of banking and FinTech experts. A report unveiled this news on September 29, noting the bank revealed the membership of its CBDC Engagement and Technology Forums.
The list contains renowned names in the technology and finance sectors, including Google, Mastercard, ConsenSys, and Spotify, among others. According to the report, the bank’s announcement indicates it is taking its CBDC plans seriously.
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Reportedly, BoE said its Technology Forum obtains resources from experts in the digital payments and cryptocurrencies sector. The central bank believes this forum will help it understand the technological challenges of developing, implementing, and operating a CBDC.
Experts that will help BoE traverse the CBDC minefield include PayPal’s blockchain and crypto CTO, Edwin Aoki, Google’s Principal Software Engineer, Will Drewry, and Matthieu Saint Olive from Ethereum Software firm ConsenSys. The Technology Forum also comprises officials and payment experts from Amazon Web Services, MasterCard, Visa, IBM, Stripe, and R3.
On the other hand, the engagement forum comprises banking officials and business experts, such as the co-CEO of Global Banking and Markets at leading British multinational investment bank HSBC, Georges Elhedery, Morgan Stanley’s COO Arun Kohli, and SWIFT’s Chief Product Officer, Stephen Gilderdale.
China remains on top of the CBDC race
This news comes after BoE began researching CBDCs in November last year. Six months later, the central bank posted several job positions related to CBDC research and development.
However, BoE has a bearish stance on crypto, with its Governor, Andrew Bailey, warning digital currencies are dangerous. According to him, people should only invest in crypto if they are willing to lose all their money.
Bailey also pointed out that assets such as Bitcoin (BTC/USD) do not meet the primary functions of a standard means of payment. In May this year, he said, he is sceptical about crypto-assets because they are dangerous.
While the central bank is increasingly focusing on CBDC research, it is still a long way from catching up with China, which has made significant progress with its digital yuan. The latest development saw the country’s central bank consider using the blockchain to issue the CBDC.
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