With over 90% of the world’s major central banks pursuing central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects, there is an ever-increasing number of institutions and organisations across the globe expressing opinions, recommendations and insights into the benefits (or not) that a new form of digital money could bring. They are currently looking into the technology that could (or should) be used and how a new payments architecture could work effectively, compliantly, and most importantly, without detriment to society.
Delving into the details, the topics that raise their heads are quite diverse, but nonetheless are generally consistent across jurisdictions. Ranging from privacy concerns to financial inclusion and accessibility to fungibility and interoperability, there is a whole variety of themes requiring exploration and analysis.
There is no doubt that for any new form of digital money — whether a CBDC or other privately issued digital currency — to succeed and achieve longevity, it needs to be thought through carefully. To ensure success and instil user confidence, a CBDC or any other new form of digital money must be sufficiently well-designed, and the benefits must be apparent not only to the financial system, but to society as a whole.
This is exactly where the Digital Pound Foundation (DPF) in the UK can play a significant role. The DPF is a non-profit organisation that advocates for a well-designed digital pound, enabling both public and private sectors to fully engage in the design, development, and adoption of a digital Pound, thus contributing to its successful roll-out and helping drive forward the UK’s transition to a digital economy.
Through its member cohort and partnerships with industry associations such as the Payments Association, UK Finance, City of London Corporation and CityUK (these five organisations recently formed the UK Forum for Digital Currencies), the DPF is able to draw on a variety of expertise, insights and experience in order to conduct research, advocacy, exploratory projects and multi-stakeholder collaboration.
Extending beyond the UK, and recognising that many of the challenges are shared across jurisdictions, the DPF also enjoys engagement and knowledge sharing with the Digital Euro Association and the Digital Dollar Project.
Credibility and reputation are fundamental to the success of the DPF. To that end, the DPF has taken a slow and steady approach to membership to ensure true alignment of vision and objectives across its community of members. It is essential that the DPF produces top-quality output and solution-suggesting thought leadership.
The CBDC space is a really exciting place to be, and the DPF feels like it was created at just the right time. Since officially launching in October 2021, the DPF has been extremely busy and produced a variety of thought leadership papers, consultation responses, webinars, private roundtable discussions and podcasts — and there is still plenty more to come! The work of the DPF can be found here.
In many ways, this is just the beginning. With the Bank of England still at the exploratory phase in terms of deciding whether or not to implement a UK CBDC — noting that the recent consultation paper described the need for one as ‘likely,’ which indicates a serious intent at least to continue and possibly further ramp up exploratory activities in this space — there are still many ...
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