The government is considering introducing a national cryptocurrency or “digital pound”, the economic secretary to the Treasury has told MPs. The UK was committed to becoming a world crypto hub, Andrew Griffith said. And the government was “a long way down the road… to establish a regime for the wholesale use, for payment purposes, of stablecoins”. Stablecoins are designed to have a predictable value linked to traditional currencies or assets such as gold. A public consultation on the attributes of a digital pound would be launched in coming weeks, Mr 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,” he said. Central banks around the world are developing or exploring digital currencies. And Mr Griffith told the committee: “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 [financial] industries”, he said.
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