- L Misthos and M Bacina
Bank of England on a hiring spree for Digital Pound Development
The digital currency arm of the Bank of England is poised to grow with the announcement that the United Kingdom's Central Bank will be hiring as many as 30 new staff members to assist in developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), months after the Federal Reserve Bank of New York launched its CBDC pilot.
The digital pound, also known as the 'digital sterling' or 'Britcoin', is to be denominated in sterling and function just like any other stablecoin, with its value pegged 1:1 to the price of sterling. According to the Bank of England, the digital pound will not be a cryptocurrency or a crypto asset, but will be proper digital money that is backed by the government.
The careers page of the Bank of England currently only lists two jobs that appear relevant to the digital pound, these being a Digital Pound Security Architect and a Digital pound Solution Architect, both added on 29 March 2023.
The hiring spree by the bank suggests a firm intention to build a substantial team responsible for effective integration of a CBDC into the United Kingdom's existing financial framework.
Several international and domestic financial institutions have started on a path to utilise the benefits that CBDCs can offer. Faster and cheaper transactions, enhanced security and more accurate data analytics, among other things, have led to a spike in CBDC adoption and research.
In New Zealand, the Reserve Bank is currently seeking public consultation on a NZ digital currency, in the United States the US Federal Reserve has released its CBDC insight and in Australia the Reserve Bank of Australia's CBDC pilot project is underway.
The future of currencies is looking more and more digital with mainstream adoption of CBDCs becoming seemingly inevitable but governments may need to take note of the concerns voiced regarding surveillance and tracking of citizens using CBDCs, the Digital Pound is expressly promised to provide privacy to users and not to let the government monitor what is being spent by holders, which would appear an essential element of any true digital money.