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Poll: Britons concerned about the prospect of a digital pound

Poll: Britons concerned about the prospect of a digital pound
In a recent poll, British adults expressed concerns about privacy and government interference with the prospect of a government-backed digital currency.
The results of a recent survey conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on behalf of Politico show that a majority of British adults have internal concerns about the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) issued by the Bank of England (BOE).

The 2,500 British adults surveyed in early August expressed doubts and concerns about the inherent social benefits of the Bank of England's CBDC issuance.

According to the data, 30% of participants believe that CBDC "Britcoin" is "more likely to be harmful than beneficial to the UK," with 24% believing it could be beneficial, while the remaining participants, with 46%, had difficulty answering.
Poll: Britons concerned about the prospect of a digital pound

Poll: Britons concerned about the prospect of a digital pound

A deeper analysis of the specific issues surrounding digital currency found that 73% of participants would be "concerned about the threat of hacking and cyberattacks, 70% about user privacy, 62% about the government's ability to confiscate their money and 45 % about the impact on the environment."

If the initiative overcomes obstacles to public acceptance and is implemented nationwide, it will be the first time a digital currency has been issued by the United Kingdom's central bank.
The U.K. has been exploring the CBDC concept for the past few years.

Tom Matton, head of financial technology at BOE, has been a pioneer for the future of CBDC and recently shared his views on the benefits of implementation from "competition and diversity in payments, to opportunities to promote financial inclusion and protect privacy."

Back in June, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak promised a "radical set of financial services reforms" over the next few years, with CBDC at the top of the priority list.

In response to the Bank of England's 2020 discussion paper on CBDC's prospects, respondents, which included technology and fintech companies, individuals, payment firms and many others, identified four key themes.
They were that the CBDC "use case" needs to be refined and better articulated; the need for CBDC to support financial inclusion and privacy protection; the BOE design principles are comprehensive but difficult to implement; and functionality, including offline payments, was seen as critical.
Matton concluded that "virtually everyone agrees that the pros and cons need to be scrutinized, broad participation is needed as evidence is gathered, and open consultation is needed before any conclusions can be reached."

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