The Bank of England is reviewing whether it should create a central bank-backed digital currency, according to governor Andrew Bailey.
“We are looking at the question of, should we create a Bank of England digital currency,” Bailey said Monday in a webinar event with students. “We’ll go on looking at it, as it does have huge implications on the nature of payments and society.”
“I think in a few years, we will be heading toward some sort of digital currency,” he added.
The BOE is part of a group of major central banks teaming up to assess potentially developing their digital currencies, acknowledging their role is being challenged by new technologies and private sector initiatives such as Facebook Inc.’s Libra.
It could be some time before the U.K. central bank can fully devote its attention to such a development, however.
“The digital currency issue will be a very big issue,” Bailey said. “I hope it is because that means COVID will be behind us.”