The Bank of England’s consultation on the digital pound has received an enthusiastic response from the public
There were 50,000 replies to the Bank of England’s survey on the digital pound, with most people worried about privacy, the currency’s programmability, and the possible demise of traditional cash.
The Bank of England (BOE) received over 50,000 replies to its consultation on the possible implementation of a digital pound, an unparalleled level of public participation. In a recent address, Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe revealed this number and outlined the top three public concerns: privacy, programmability, and the disappearance of actual currency.
The fundamental concern expressed is users’ right to privacy in the online world. Most people were concerned about the central bank’s handling of their data and the lack of anonymity in digital pound transactions. In response to these concerns, Cunliffe promised that digital pound users would have the same amount of anonymity when making electronic purchases as they have now. Fears of governmental monitoring were dispelled when he assured the public that the Bank of England would not have access to individual transaction data.
Programmability was also a major issue of discussion. The public is worried that the BOE would restrict the digital pound’s capabilities or make it programmable in order to dictate its usage. To put this into context, Cunliffe said that the Bank of England has no plans to limit the use of digital pounds.
There is a broad range of opinions on whether or not the world is ready to make the switch from paper money to digital currency. Respondents’ worries about the demise or elimination of currency if a digital pound becomes widespread echoed similar worldwide attitudes. In response to these worries, Cunliffe cited new government laws that would guarantee physical currency will remain available, highlighting the value of such innovations alongside digital alternatives.