Gold bitcoin on british pound sterling bills

UK central bank to set up 30-member Britcoin team: report

England’s central bank is kicking up its central bank digital currency (CBDC) efforts a notch as it seeks to hire up to 30 people to work on Britcoin.

The Bank of England (BoE) has conducted CBDC feasibility studies in the past but has yet to commit to developing the token. It’s currently collecting feedback from stakeholders and the public on what a Britcoin should look like and what, if any, regulatory and legislative changes would be needed.

The central bank has in the past hinted at growing its CBDC team, with Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe saying in March that the bank lacks enough expertise to work on a digital pound.

The Times now reports that the BoE is seeking to hire up to 30 people for its CBDC team. These include developers and engineers to lead the development of the digital currency and a digital pound solution architect who will research the benefits of different designs. It’s also hiring security professionals to ensure the digital currency is resilient against potential privacy and cyber threats, the paper says. These roles will pay upwards of £80,000 ($99,000).

England is one of many countries moving cautiously towards a CBDC. Some, like Sweden, are at the advanced stages of exploring their CBDC, the e-krona. However, most of England’s peers, like Italy, France, and Germany, are taking small steps toward CBDCs.

By hiring 30 people, Ian Taylor says England could become a regional leader in the European CBDC arms race.

“As a ‘starter for ten’ at the beginning of this project, a team of 30 seems like quite a significant resource to focus on the digital pound. It shows the impact it would have, and that the Bank are serious about it,” Taylor, a board adviser for industry lobbyist group CryptoUK, told the paper.

While the BoE has yet to commit to a digital pound, the CBDC has received plenty of criticism already. The critics include Mervyn Allister King, the BoE governor from 2003 to 2013, who described Britcoin as “a solution in search of a problem.”

To learn more about central bank digital currencies and some of the design decisions that need to be considered when creating and launching it, read nChain’s CBDC playbook.

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