A ‘crypto’ pound sterling is under consideration by the Government, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury has told MPs.
Andrew Griffith claims the UK is committed to becoming a world digital currency hub.
He said Britain is a “long way down the road… to establish a regime for the wholesale use, for payment purposes, of stablecoins”.
Stablecoins are designed to be less volatile as they are allied to traditional currencies or gold.
Griffith said that the currency, for use by households and businesses, would sit alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than replacing them.
Griffith told the Treasury Select Committee: “I want to see us establish a regime, and this is within the FSMB (Financial Services and Markets Bill, currently being debated in Parliament), for the wholesale use for payment purposes of stablecoins.
“It is right to look to seek to embrace potentially disruptive technologies, particularly when we have such a strong fintech and financial sector.”
He wanted to allow the opportunity for this “potentially disruptive game-changing technology that can challenge but also turbocharge all of those industries”, he said.
A so-called “crypto winter”, a swift decline in the value of Bitcoin and other assets, has intensified concerns about whether any cryptocurrency can ever be considered stable.
This has been further illustrated by the rapid and dramatic collapse of the cryptocurrencey exchange business FTX.
FTX was estimatred to have had 80,000 Bfritish clients.
Labour’s shadow City Minister Tulip Siddiq, said: “A Labour government would be serious about attracting FinTech companies to the UK, by building a regulatory regime that supports innovation to safely harness new technologies and our ambition to make Britain the homegrown start-up hub of the world.”