London, 14 October 2021: The Digital Pound Foundation has been launched today by a core group of founding members as an independent forum to support the implementation of a well-designed digital Pound and digital money ecosystem.
The Foundation believes that a digital Pound will underpin the UK’s transition to an innovative, inclusive digital economy and society. If the UK is to maintain its globally-competitive lead in fintech and financial innovation, it needs to create a digital Pound, and a healthy ecosystem for digital money. Research from the Bank for International Settlements shows that 10% of central banks surveyed representing 20% of the world’s population are likely to issue a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for the general public in the next three years or less.
CBDCs and other new forms of digital money can leverage frontier technologies for development of features such as programmable money, more inclusive payments services, and more robust and resilient payments infrastructure, enabling the UK’s transition to a digital economy. The Foundation will draw on the expertise & practical experience of its members to conduct research, advocacy, ‘hands on’ exploratory projects and multi-stakeholder collaboration in the design, development, implementation and roll-out of a digital Pound as a means of securing the UK’s place in the emerging global digital landscape.
Recognising that both public and private sector have a role to play in the new digital money landscape, the Foundation’s remit will include advocacy for an inclusive, well-regulated, secure and transparent ecosystem that encompasses both CBDCs and privately-issued forms of digital money.
Originating members of the group include: Jeremy Wilson, Jannah Patchay, Lee Schneider (Ava Labs), Victoria Thompson, Phil Kenworthy, Jim Ford and Melanie Budden. Foundation and Associate members include Accenture, Avalanche, Billon Group, CGI Group, Electroneum, Quant and Ripple. Partners include Herbert Smith Freehills and The Realization Group.
In addition to its research and policy activities, the Foundation will also act as a hub to collate and share a comprehensive set of resources about the progress towards a digital Pound and movements towards the creation of other CBDCs globally.
Commenting on the launch, Digital Pound Foundation Chairman Jeremy Wilson, said: “Technology is transforming human interaction and money must adapt to that. The world has become a global laboratory realising the benefits of a new form of money. The social ramifications of this shift will affect everyone. The Digital Pound Foundation seeks to support the UK in bringing that about for the benefit of all”.