The Bank of England plans to explore the launch of an official digital currency.
The British central bank, along with the HM Treasury, announced the creation of a joint task force to examine the prospect of creating a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the U.K.
The institutions said they haven’t decided to pursue the launch of a digital currency. Instead, the task force is being formed to examine the case for official digital money and evaluate possible design features.
The task force will be co-chaired by Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor for financial stability at the Bank of England, and Katharine Braddick, director general of financial services at the Treasury.
Cunliffe co-chaired a group of major central banks, including the Bank of Canada, that released a report last year outlining the basic principles and features of a CBDC.
That group didn’t make any recommendation on whether central banks should issue their own digital currencies.
At the time, Tiff Macklem, the Bank of Canada governor, said in a release that “international cooperation is essential to improve the quality of CBDCs and to ensure that they also support efficient and low-cost cross-border payments. We still have a lot of work to do before deciding to issue a CBDC in Canada.”