A research unit is expected to report on the matter within the next 12 months, though the endgame is far from clear.
With the massive surge in the popularity of cryptocurrencies, it appears that the United Kingdom might soon have its very own Bitcoin-like digital coin, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The Bank of England has established a research unit to probe the possibility of issuing a prototype cryptocurrency, which could serve as a rival to the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The unit is expected to report back within the next 12 months, though the endgame is far from clear. According to local media, if the new digital currency does achieve the status of legal tender, BoE’s governor Mark Carney would prefer a restriction to limit use to transactions between central banks.
However, since this would place the new digital currency under government regulation, it is uncertain if it would still be considered a cryptocurrency, which is inherently free of regulation and control. The central bank could clone or improve on Bitcoin’s technology, but it may fail to duplicate the cryptocurrency’s established lead in adoption and the large ecosystem of applications that have been built up around it.