The arrival of electronic currencies could revolutionise the way Britons pay for goods and services, in much the same way as the internet shook up how we access information, the Bank of England has said.
Cashless forms of payment like the cryptocurrency Bitcoin “potentially combined with mobile technology, may reshape the mechanisms for making secure payments”, the central bank said.
While traditional currencies, including the pound, are backed by central banks, new alternatives have allowed individuals to exchange directly without any such third party.
The Bank could itself create digital currencies, making the new system available as it does with banknotes today. Research would be necessary to develop the technology “without compromising a central bank’s ability to control its currency and secure the system against systemic attack”, the Bank said.
The idea of countries launching their own electronic currencies has gained pace in recent weeks, as Yanis Varoufakis became Greece’s newest finance minister. The Greek-born economist has previously suggested that “the technology of Bitcoin, if suitably adapted, can be employed profitably in the eurozone as a weapon against deflation”….
By Peter Spence – The Telegraph –
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