Peers slam Britcoin plan, claiming there is no case for creating a UK digital currency
Peers have slammed plans for Britcoin, claiming there is no case for creating a digital currency.
The House of Lords economic affairs committee said the UK’s plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) – dubbed Britcoin – could present challenges to privacy and financial stability.
The Treasury and the Bank of England have been exploring a digital alternative to physical cash similar to bitcoin, but backed by the pound and supervised by the Bank.
Panned: The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee said the UK’s plans for a central bank digital currency – dubbed Britcoin – could present challenges to privacy and financial stability
It would eliminate bank accounts, as all transactions would be recorded on an unchangeable ledger.
Supporters say it would make payments cheaper and quicker, and slash banking costs.
Critics worry it could make mortgages and other loans more expensive.
Witnesses included Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.
Committee chairman Lord Forsyth said: ‘We found the potential benefits of a digital pound, as set out by the Bank, to be overstated or achievable through less risky alternatives.’
The Bank is due to consult on the idea this year and will make a decision based on responses.