Bank of England unveils all-star payments and tech lineup for CBDC Forums

The United Kingdom’s central banks are intensifying their research into a central banking digital currency (CBDC). They have selected a large number of fintech and banking experts to help them.

The Bank of England announced on September 29th that it had joined its CBDC Engagement and Technology Forums. They include big names in finance and technology such as Consensys, Consensys, Google and Mastercard — and even Spotify.

The announcement this week is a sign that the central bank is serious about its CBDC plans. The Technology Forum is a group of leading experts in digital payments and cryptocurrency.

“The Forum will assist the bank in understanding the technological challenges involved with designing, implementing, and operating a CBDC.”

The Engagement Forum is comprised of “senior stakeholders in industry, civil society and academia” that will help the bank and Treasury “understand and address the practical challenges associated with designing, implementing, and operating a CBDC.”

Edwin Aoki, PayPal’s Chief Technology Officer for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, is one of the technology experts. Will Drewry is the Principal Software Engineer at Google. Matthieu Saint Olive, CBDC and Payments Manager from Ethereum software solutions company ConsenSys, also joins him.

The Technology Forum includes representatives and payment experts from Amazon Web Services and MasterCard, Visa and Stripe.

The Engagement Forum is made up of bank executives and business professionals, including Georges Elhedery (CEO Global Banking and Markets at HSBC), Stephen Gilderdale (CEO Interbank Communication Standard SWIFT) and Arun Kohli (COO Morgan Stanley).

Related: UK chancellor puts CBDC on the Treasury’s list of financial reforms

According to Cointelegraph, the Bank of England started investigating CBDCs tentatively in November 2020. The central bank published a list of open positions in April related to CBDC research.

However, it remains skeptical about cryptocurrencies. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned investors in May about the risks of trading cryptocurrency. He said that “buy them only when you’re willing to lose all of your money.”

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