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UK authorities mulling digital currency 'Britcoin'

UK authorities mulling digital currency 'Britcoin'
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British authorities are exploring the possibility of creating a new digital currency dubbed “Britcoin.”

The Bank of England and the Treasury on Monday said they were weighing the potential benefits of a central bank digital currency, The Associated Press reports.

If the new currency is created, it would be a form meant to be used by households and businesses and would exist alongside cash and bank deposits instead of replacing them, the Bank of England said.

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Soon after the Treasury announced it was exploring the possibility of a digital currency, British Treasury Chief Rishi Sunak tweeted, "Britcoin?"

The HM Treasury said in its announcement that the exploration of digital currency was part of an effort to "enhance the UK’s competitive advantage in fintech" in light of "opportunities generated since the UK’s departure from the EU." 

"Our vision is for a more open, greener, and more technologically advanced financial services sector. The UK is already known for being at the forefront of innovation, but we need to go further," Sunak said in a statement. "The steps I’ve outlined today, to boost growing fintechs, push the boundaries of digital finance and make our financial markets more efficient, will propel us forward."

The AP noted that the Bahamas is currently the only country in the world with its own digital currency. China is experimenting with digital currency in some cities while Sweden and the European Central Bank have indicated they may create a digital currency in the near future.