The UK Central Bank is stepping up its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) research with the selection of a long list of banking and fintech experts to assist it.
On September 29th, the Bank of England announced membership of the CBDC Interaction and Technology Forum, which includes some big names in technology and finance, including Google, Mastercard, Consensys – and even Spotify.
This week’s announcement is a signal that the central bank is taking its CBDC plans seriously. It claims that the technology forum draws resources from leading experts in digital payments and cryptocurrencies.
“The forum will help the bank understand the technological challenges in developing, implementing and operating a CBDC.”
The Engagement Forum includes “high-level industry, civil society and academia stakeholders” who will help the bank and treasury “understand the practical challenges involved in designing, implementing and operating a CBDC”.
Tech experts include Edwin Aoki, who heads PayPal‘s cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Will Drewry, Lead Software Engineer at Google, will join him as well as CBDC and Head of Payments Matthieu Saint Olive of Ethereum software solutions company ConsenSys.
The Tech Forum also includes executives and payment experts from Amazon Web Services, MasterCard, Visa, Stripe, IMB, R3 and the music streaming platform Spotify.
The Engagement Forum includes bank managers and business professionals, including Co-CEO of Global Banking and Markets at HSBC, Georges Elhedery, Morgan Stanley COO Arun Kohli and Stephen Gilderdale, Managing Director, Product Manager at SWIFT Interbank Communication Standard.
Related: The UK Prime Minister has put CBDC on the Treasury Department’s financial reform list
The Bank of England will begin preliminary investigations into CBDCs in November 2020, as reported by Cointelegraph. In April, the central bank published a list of job vacancies related to CBDC research and development.
It remains skeptical of cryptocurrencies, however, as Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned of the risks of trading cryptocurrencies in May, telling investors to “only buy them” when you are willing to give up all of your money lose.