Capital Calls: UK’s late-mover “Britcoin” advantage

2 minute read

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves Downing Street, in London, Britain, November 25, 2020.

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LONDON, April 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.

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COINING A PHRASE. The country that gave the world Britpop is now looking into “Britcoin”. UK finance minister Rishi Sunak tweeted the moniker on Monday after asking the Bank of England to look into the case for a digital currency backed by the central bank read more . It’s cute branding, but others are further along the road.

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China, which launched experiments last year in several cities including Shenzhen and Chengdu, is a leader. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has held a public consultation. ECB President Christine Lagarde told Breakingviews last week read more that this showed the wisdom of the crowd: people want privacy but not anonymity that might facilitate illegal activities.

Sunak, who is on a mission to make post-Brexit London more attractive, has at least one consolation. As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last year, when it comes to a central bank digital currency, it is more important to get it right than to be first. (By Swaha Pattanaik)

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Earlier in Capital Calls:

Tribune trophy hunter setback read more

Nvidia-Arm deal read more

Goldman’s Starling bet signals faith in UK savers read more

Rosatom suffers fallout from Kremlin meddling read more

Danske CEO exit creates ripples for UBS read more

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