It seems that the cryptocurrency world continues to develop at breakneck speed with the recent announcement that the UK's central bank, the Bank of England, and the UK government's Treasury department will actively explore the development of a new central digital currency. The pithily named Central Bank Digital Currency (or CBDC) is stated to be "a new form of digital money issued by the Bank of England and for use by households and businesses for their everyday payment needs" with the express intention of operating alongside cash.
This announcement merely begins with the "research and development" phase during 2022 but it does appear to mark a sea-change in attitude amongst the more traditional financial institutions; moving from scepticism and mistrust to wholeheartedly embracing the concept. Of course, many critics will highlight that the involvement of such financial powerhouses may forever change the essence and attraction of cryptocurrencies. However, presuming that such central governance will make fraud that much harder, it may be that this initiative is the first step to making cryptocurrencies available to - or perhaps more accurately, more acceptable to - the masses.
The UK government suggests that, if approved, such a digital currency could be up and running by the second half of this decade. Certainly I can only see this consultation going one way and leading to the nationwide introduction of the CBDC. Hopefully, the consultation will also seek suggestions for a better name..."poundcoin"?
"This consultation will begin an open discussion on the role a UK central bank digital currency might play in the UK. "I’d encourage everyone to contribute to the discussion so we can explore the opportunities this could bring, as well as understanding any risks it may pose.”