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The UK considers a digital pound

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The economic secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, has told the Treasury Select Committee that the government was considering introducing a “digital pound.”

Griffith noted that the UK was committed to being a world crypto hub and that the government was well into the research on ways “to establish a regime for the wholesale use, for payment purposes, of stablecoins.”

Griffith said that public consultation on the attributes of a digital pound would begin in the coming weeks.

“I want to see us establish a regime, and this is within the FSMB [Financial Services and Markets Bill], for the wholesale use for payment purposes of stablecoins,” he said.

“It is right to look to seek to embrace potentially disruptive technologies, particularly when we have such a strong fintech and financial sector.”

Related: ? Central Bank Digital Currencies make authoritarianism, censorship, and surveillance easy

He told members of the committee to allow this “potentially disruptive game-changing technology that can challenge but also turbocharge all of those industries.”

Central banks around the world are exploring or developing digital currencies. China is ahead in that race as it is about to test a digital yuan in several major cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen.

In July 2021, the European Central Bank announced that it would be launching a digital euro, starting with a 24-month investigation phase followed by a three-year implementation phase.

Labour’s shadow City Minister Tulip Siddiq welcomed the idea of a digital euro.

“A Labour government would be serious about attracting FinTech companies to the UK, by building a regulatory regime that supports innovation to safely harness new technologies and our ambition to make Britain the homegrown start-up hub of the world,” she said.

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