PayPal, Visa, Amazon Named as Core Members to Help Bank of England Work on Developing UK’s CBDC

Bank of England

The Bank of England has named the representatives from companies such as Spotify, PayPal, and Asos, Visa, and Amazon among stakeholders participating in two advisory groups that are examining a possible UK’s CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency).

On Wednesday, September 29, the Bank of England announced the members of the technology and engagement forums.

The technology forum will assist the Bank of England (BoE) in understanding the technical challenges of designing, operating, and implementing a CBDC.

Among the 26 members of the technology, the forum is James Whittle, director of standards and architecture for payments giant PayPal; Mark Shaw, director of global payments strategy for music streaming provider Spotify; Simon Brayshaw, head of technology for online fashion retailer Asos; David MacKeith, principal technology advisor at Amazon Web Services; Edwin Aoki, PayPal’s chief technology officer for blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital currencies.

On the other hand, the engagement forum will assist the BoE in understanding the practicalities of designing, rolling out, and operating a CBDC.

Representatives from Visa, Standard Chartered, Morgan Stanley, Mastercard, and HSBC are all included in the engagement forum. Christian Catalini, chief economist for the Facebook-backed Diem Association, and Anne Boden, founder and CEO of digital bank Starling.

While the technology forum conducted its first meeting earlier this month, the engagement forum plans to hold its first meeting later this year.

Central Banks Leading the Way In CBDC

In April, the Bank of England announced the formation of the two forums to examine a potential UK’s CBDC.

During that time, the BoE stated that the central bank and the government had not yet decided whether to launch a CBDC and planned to use the task force to examine the practicalities. The BoE also clarified that a CBDC would not replace cash and bank deposits but exist alongside them.

Despite marked progress in countries like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Sweden, and China, the announcement by the BoE’s approach and status to develop a framework for a digital fiat currency is still at an earlier stage.

In July, the BoE discussed the potential opportunities that a CBDC might bring, including promoting more efficient cross-border and domestic payments, financial inclusion, and financial stability.

The latest announcement signals that the BoE is becoming more serious about its CBDC exploration.
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