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Bank of England’s CBDC ‘Britcoin’ May Not Rely on Blockchain

Jai Pratap
Last updated: | 1 min read
Bank of England
Source: Pixabay

The Bank of England is still mulling over which technology will underpin its Central Bank-Backed Digital Currency (CBDC). 

All other central banks are using Blockchain technology to issue their national digital currencies. However, the Bank of England has not decided on it yet. 

The head of the BOE’s CBDC project, Tom Mutton, said that all options are on the table as the central bank continues its research on whether building a digital pound, dubbed as Britcoin, is worth it. 

In a podcast interview with Bloomberg, Mutton said that at a meeting of technologists hosted by the central bank to discuss the design of digital pound, none of them agreed with each other at any point.

BOE Plans To Trial Other Versions Of Ledger

The Bank of England is considering different versions of ledgers for its CBDC, including public blockchains similar that underpin cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. 

Blockchain technology has established itself for being more efficient over existing payment rails.

Currently, over 100 central banks across countries are exploring the option of having a national digital currency.  

The head of the BOE’s CBDC project said that they definitely want to be compatible with distributed-ledger business models in the private sector, but they are not sure if the distributed ledgers offer more efficiency over conventional ledgers.”It is very much open,” Mutton added. 

Britcoin is Still Years Away 

The discussion around the underlying technology of England’s CBDC comes two years after His Majesty’s Treasury and the BOE launched a task force to study CBDCs.

Mutton indicated that the earliest an eventual CBDC could appear is in the second half of this decade. 

England’s digital currency would likely not feature the BOE’s branding, as consumers would largely use “Britcoin” through wallets developed by companies in the private sector, Mutton said.

The head of England’s CBDC project further added that they don’t want people to see this as a Bank of England product. 

“It might be best to see it as something which is a way of paying, which is offered by your private-sector wallet, and you just know it’s very, very safe.”