Britain: Plans for issuing digital sterling
British official revealed last week that the British government is considering issuing a national cryptocurrency called the digital sterling pound, affirming London’s commitment to becoming a global hub for digital currencies.
The Economic Secretary to British Treasury, Andrew Griffith, indicated during a session of the British Parliament, that the government has come a long way to create a system for wholesale use and for payment purposes.
Griffith said at a Treasury Select Committee hearing that a public consultation on the features of the digital pound will be launched in the coming weeks.
“I want us to move forward with establishing a system within the Financial Services and Markets Act, which is currently being debated in Parliament, for wholesale use for payment purposes of stable coins,” Griffith said.
Griffith told the committee that “it’s right to seek the adoption of new financial technologies in the market, especially when we have such a strong financial and technological sector”.
Griffith said he wanted to open up this “potentially game-changing technology that can challenge all of those financial industries, but also revitalize them”.
In details, there will be a public consultation on Britain’s first public regulatory approach to crypto assets, a sector where consumer protection has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.
However, the consultation will form part of the research and exploration phase and will help both the Bank of England and the government to develop plans over the next few years.
And when it comes to regulating cryptocurrencies, being right is more important than being first, given the UK’s strong financial reputation, Griffiths noted, adding that “it will be a time-consuming activity”.
In same context, the European Union has put in place the first comprehensive set of rules in the world to regulate cryptocurrency markets, and that member states are scheduled to obtain final approval in the coming weeks, and it will enter into force in 2024.
“The UK’s rules could be broader to include decentralized finance,” Griffith said, noting that “everyone would benefit from greater transparency”.
“We want a right system that works in the right way, and has the right balances,” he told the committee, adding that “no less than 6 round tables will be held with those in the cryptocurrency industry, in order to confirm our role as regulators and decision-makers”.
The rapid decline in the value of bitcoin and other crypto assets has led to mounting concerns about whether any cryptocurrency can be considered stable.