Updated 01 Sep, 2021

Britons Widely Oppose a Digital Version of the Sterling, Survey Shows

Britons Widely Oppose a Digital Version of the Sterling, Survey Shows

Key Takeaways:

  • A survey shows British citizens are not in favor of having a digital pound
  • The Bank of England has signaled interest in issuing a central bank digital currency

A Survey Says Most Brits are Skeptical About a Digital Sterling

The British public has largely rejected the idea of having a central bank digital currency, or a digital version of the Great British pound. That became clear in a recent report carried out by Redfield & Wilton Strategies.

The “Britcoin Poll Results” report, collecting the views of 2,500 British citizens, suggested the vast majority of the respondents are not in favor of having a central-bank backed digital currency.

According to the results of the poll, only 24% of British adults who participated in the survey, believe a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would be beneficial for society. A total of 30% among the respondents think a CBDC is more likely to be harmful to the UK.

Moreover, the poll mentions as much as 73% of respondents would be concerned about the threat of hacks and cyberattacks. Among other risks, 70% state privacy concerns. On the other hand, 62% say they would be worried that the government could decide to seize their money from their digital wallets.

A total of 45% of those surveyed state environmental harm as a potential concern about using a digital currency.

The Bank of England Shows Interest in the Potential of a CBDC

It is not yet clear whether the Bank of England would decide to issue a digital pound. Nevertheless, the UK central bank’s fintech chief, Tom Mutton, indicated that the bank is interested in CBDCs.

“Access to central bank money in the form of CBDC could support wider public policy objectives,” Mr. Mutton said recently. “These range from the possible benefits for competition and diversity in payments, through to opportunities to promote financial inclusion and safeguard privacy.”

A central bank digital currency, or CBDC, is a digital currency created by a country’s central bank. Several governments and central banks around the world have been deeply exploring the field of CBDCs.

This year alone, the US, Europe, Canada and the UK have set to study the benefits, risks, challenges and possibilities of using central bank digital currencies.

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