Bank of England Unveils All-Star Payment and Tech Lineup for CBDC Forum

The Central Bank of the United Kingdom is advancing its research on a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to select a long list of banking and fintech experts to assist it.

On 2 September the Bank of England announced its membership of the CBDC Engagement and Technology Forum and they included some big names in technology and finance including Google, MasterCard, Consensus – and even Spotify.

This week’s announcement is a signal that the central bank is taking its CBDC plans seriously. It said the technology forum draws resources from top experts in digital payments and cryptocurrencies.

“The forum will help banks understand the technical challenges of CBDC design, implementation and management.”

The engagement forum includes “senior stakeholders from industry, civil society and academics,” which will help banks and the Treasury understand the “real challenges of CBDC design, implementation and management.”

Technology experts include Edwin Aoki, PayPal’s blockchain and chief technology officer for cryptocurrencies. He was joined by Matthew St. Olive, Google’s principal software engineer, Will Drewery, payment manager at CBDC and Ethereum software solution firm Consensus.

The technology forum also includes executives and payment specialists from Amazon Web Services, MasterCard, Visa, Stripe, IMB, R3, and the music streaming platform Spotify.

The engagement forum is made up of banking executives and business experts, including HSBC’s Global Banking and Markets Co-CEO, Georges Elhedari, Morgan Stanley’s COO Arun Kohli and Interbank Communications Standard Swift’s Chief Product Officer Stephen Guilderdale.

Related: The Chancellor of the United Kingdom has named the CBDC to the Treasury’s list of financial reforms

According to Cointelegraph, the Bank of England temporarily began research at the CBDC in November 2020. In April, the central bank released a list of vacancies related to CBDC research and development.

While there are doubts about cryptocurrencies, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned investors in May about the risks of trading cryptocurrencies, saying “buy them only if you are prepared to lose all your money.”

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