*In partnership with CanalTech
UK government officials are reportedly planning to launch a new cryptocurrency to compete with other industry representatives, such as Bitcoin. But, unlike other digital currencies, this one would be supported by the British State and already even has a nickname: “Britcoin”.
At a UK industry conference, Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated that the British government “is launching a new task force between the National Treasury and the Bank of England to coordinate exploratory work that could result in a potential digital currency, duly supervised by the British Central Bank “. Also according to the politician, “the consultation process aims to provide a rule book that is fair, based on results and supports competitiveness, while ensuring that the UK maintains the highest regulatory standards.”
Finally, Sunak even tweeted the provisional name of the cryptocurrency in question:
The sector is growing
Plans for a “state-owned cryptocurrency” come after the digital currency industry shuddered in the past week. That’s because Coinbase, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency brokers, went public (IPO) for Nasdaq, with the company’s share price opening at $ 381. With that, the company has been valued at $ 100 billion. In the wake of the success of this IPO, the price of digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin rose to record levels.
According to a recent study by the Bank of International Settlements, about 80% of central banks, including the Federal Reserve (USA) and the European Central Bank, are analyzing the potential for launching digital currencies. Many of them have placed CBDCs (acronym for “Central Bank Digital Currencies”) on their future agendas, with about 20% of the 66 monetary authorities saying they are likely to issue a digital currency in the next five to six years.
In addition, several central banks have signaled the risk of losing control of the global cryptocurrency payment system. Usually, they are not controlled – or backed – by any central body – or for private entities, such as Diem, which should be launched later this year and which will be managed by Facebook.
The Bahamas became the first country to launch a general purpose CBDC, known as Sand Dollar, in October last year. Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China expanded in August 2020 a test of a digital renminbi to its three largest urban regions. which together contain 400 million people.