On 9 November 2021, the Bank of England (BoE) issued a statement concerning the next steps on the exploration of a UK Central Bank Digital Currency (UK CBDC).

The statement provides that:

  • In 2022, HM Treasury and the BoE will launch a consultation which will set out their assessment of the case for a UK CBDC, including the merits of further work to develop an operational and technology model for a UK CBDC. It will evaluate the main issues at hand, consider the high level design features, possible benefits and implications for users and businesses, and considerations for further work.
  • The 2022 consultation will inform a decision on whether the authorities are content to move into a ‘development’ phase which will span several years. A technical specification would follow the consultation explaining the proposed conceptual architecture for any UK CBDC. This could involve in-depth testing of the optimal design for, and feasibility of, a UK CBDC.

Earlier this year the BoE issued a Discussion Paper that sought to broaden the debate around new forms of digital money that have significant potential to be systemic. The deadline for comments on the Discussion Paper was 7 September 2021. UK Finance has also issued a report on CBDC.

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