- Representatives from Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Morgan Stanley will participate.
- British officials have not yet decided whether to launch a central bank digital currency.
- But British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak previously called the Bank of England-backed cryptocurrency “Bitcoin”.
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The Bank of England and the UK Treasury said on Wednesday that PayPal, Amazon and Visa will be among company representatives participating in two advisory groups exploring a potential central bank digital currency.
“Britcoin” is the name given by British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak to the potential cryptocurrency backed by the Bank of England. Earlier this year, the UK set up the advisory groups – the Technology Forum and the Engagement Forum – as well as a separate task force to coordinate exploratory work on a potential CBD.
The Technology Forum, which held its first meeting this month, will help the Bank of England understand the technological challenges of designing, operating and implementing a digital digital currency.
Among the group members are Edwin Aoki, PayPal’s chief technology officer for blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital currencies; and David McKeith, Principal Technology Consultant at Amazon Web Services.
Visa’s Head of Solutions Engineering, Max Malcolm, as well as Mastercard’s Vice President of Digital and Digital Assets, Patrick O’Donnell, are part of the technology forum.
The participation forum will help the Central Bank and the Treasury Department to understand the practical challenges surrounding central bank digital currencies. This group will include key stakeholders from industry, civil society and academia. That group will be staffed by representatives from Morgan Stanley and HSBC, which will hold its first meeting later this year.
The majority of the world’s central banks are considering the advantages and disadvantages of digital central bank currencies, according to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements.
The Bank for International Settlements said in a report published on Tuesday that the use of digital central bank currencies could cut costs and leave cross-border payments. A prototype of a cryptocurrency exchange showed that cross-border payments transfer speeds dropped to seconds from days.