The survey showed that the British are concerned about the prospect of a digital pound2 min read
The results of a recent survey conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies commissioned by Politico suggest that most British adults are still concerned about the digital currency issued by the Bank of England (BOE).
More harmful than beneficial
Two and a half thousand British adults surveyed in early August expressed doubts and concerns about the inherent societal benefits of CBDC issuance by the Bank of England.
According to the figures, 30% of participants believe that the “Britcoin” CBDC is “harmful rather than beneficial to the UK”, 24% believe that it could be beneficial, while the remaining 46% have not decided.
An in-depth analysis of specific concerns about the digital currency showed that 73% of participants would “fear the threat of hackers and cyber attacks, 70% fear user privacy, 62% fear the government’s ability to seize their money and 45% the environmental impact.” .
For several years of research
If this initiative were to overcome barriers to public acceptance and be introduced across the country, it would be the first time that a digital currency has been issued by a central bank in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom has been researching the concept of CBDC for the last few years. In April, Her Majesty’s Treasury, in cooperation with the Bank of England, launched a preliminary working group to understand the “design, implementation and operation” of CBDC issues.
Tom Mutton, Head of Fintech at BOE, pioneered the future of the CBDC and recently shared his views on the benefits of implementation, from “payment competition and diversity to opportunities to promote financial inclusion and privacy.”
As early as June, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak promised a “comprehensive set of financial services reforms” over the next few years, with the CBDC at the top of the list of priorities.
Four key topics
In response to the Bank of England’s discussion paper on the CBDC’s perspective to 2020, respondents – including technology and finance companies, individuals, paying companies and others – identified four key issues.
These include the need to further develop and better formulate a “use case” for the CBDC; the need for the CBDC to promote financial inclusion and protect privacy; the principles of BOE design are complex but difficult to implement; and functional capabilities, including offline payments, were considered key.
Based on the discussion paper, Mutton concluded that “there is an almost general consensus that the pros and cons need to be thoroughly examined, that there is a need for broad involvement in gathering evidence, and that open consultations are necessary before any conclusions can be drawn.”
People are afraid of CBDC for several reasons and all are justified. No one wants to have a potential currency that will be checked from start to finish.
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