The Bank of England has called on academics and researchers in the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) sector to join them to form a group that would accelerate the likelihood of a digital pound. 

The UK central banks CBDC Academic Advisory Group (AAG) aims to bring together experts from an array of disciplines to work on monetary policies, finance, competition economics amongst other things for the digital pound. 

This is the latest step the UK is taking in its development of a CBDC after releasing its consultation last February. 

The Bank of England outlined that a potential digital pound may provide elements such as a dedicated digital wallet to hold the CBDC, no interest fees attached, no government access to personal data and more. 

Whilst the UK is in its research phase, the country’s central bank has stated that a digital pound is “likely to be needed in the future” and is moving forward with its plans to the ‘design phase’. 

A Bank of England statement read: “The objective of the design phase is to develop a comprehensive and conceptual architecture, and to carry out experimentation and proofs of concept, in collaboration with private sector innovators, to inform the development of our potential architecture and to build both the bank’s and the private sector’s digital currency technology know-how. 

“This approach will ensure that the development of a digital pound can be accelerated if a decision is taken to build it.”

The AAG will help assist in the design phase and will be jointly run by the Bank of England and HM Treasury. Both parties will seek the expertise and academic input on design elements for the CBDC believing ‘engagement with academia is crucial’. 

The group also aims to explore diverse ideas through open dialogue on best approaches to help fuel the prospect of a digital pound in the coming years.