At a recent event, Tom Mutton, head of fintech at the Bank of England, highlighted the benefits of CBDC in terms of privacy, while denouncing the anonymity of cryptocurrencies
Tom Hutton, Director of Fintech at the Bank of England, recently talked about the UK’s plans to set up a central bank digital currency (CBDC) at the Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in London.
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Hutton’s speech has reportedly focused on privacy and anonymity - concepts that he says are at odds with each other regarding the Bank of England’s digital currency.
Although he described the UK’s plans for a digital pound as feasible only if they "have the highest standards of privacy", Mutton explained that such a product was never designed to ensure anonymity:
"Privacy and anonymity are used as synonyms inappropriately".
Referring to the possibility that cryptocurrencies are being used to commit criminal acts - which according to experts represents only 0.10% - 0.15% of all their use - Mutton also stated that anonymity is "a political problem and something that should not continue to be allowed".
In further comments, Mutton explained that the digital pound will not be interoperable with cryptocurrencies. The reason is: They don’t "fulfill any of the functions of money"
Mutton’s comments come less than a month from John Cunliffe, deputy governor of the Bank of England, who spoke at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London.
During the event on April 17, Cunliffe discussed CBDC and stablecoins, stating that the latter "would offer the possibility of greater efficiency and functionality in payments", but that "it is extremely unlikely that the current proposals meet the standards of solidity and uniformity that we currently apply to both commercial bank money and existing payment systems".
In reference to a national CBDC, Cunliffe stated that a digital pound is "likely to be needed if current payment and money trends [...] continue".
The Bank of England has not yet announced when the digital pound could be launched - or even whether it will. In February, the bank published a guide that suggested, as recently reiterated by Cunliffe, that such a product might be needed in the future, but that at the time was "too early to decide".