The Treasury and the Bank of England this week announced that a decision on whether to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will be made following a public consultation next year.
The earliest date for the launch of a CBDC would be “in the second half of the decade”, according to a statement by Conservative Minister John Glen.
Calling for policymakers to move faster towards introducing a CBDC, Simon Youel, head of policy and advocacy at Positive Money, said: “With cash under attack and the rise of new private currencies, such as so-called stablecoins, we are seeing the future of money being surrendered to a cartel of private banks, card companies and tech giants.
“By the second half of the decade multinational corporations such as Facebook may have already launched their own currencies, which could quickly scale up and dominate the global monetary system, with dire consequences for accountability, privacy and economic policymaking. We need a central bank digital currency to provide a public alternative, for people who don’t want to rely on big banks and tech companies to make payments.
“Central bankers have been caught sleeping at the wheel, and should be acting much faster to introduce new public digital currencies if we are to maintain any hope of having democratic control over our money and banking system.”