The Bank of England has announced executives and experts from Google, Amazon, PayPal and ConsenSys and others to help advance its investigation into a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The membership of the Bank of England’s CBDC Engagement and Technology Forums was revealed on Sept. 29, and it includes some huge names in technology and finance, like Google, Mastercard, Consensys, and even Spotify.
The central bank’s announcement this week shows that it is serious about its CBDC objectives. The Technology Forum, according to the statement, draws on the expertise of prominent specialists in the fields of digital payments and cryptocurrencies.
“The Forum will help the bank to understand the technological challenges of designing, implementing and operating a CBDC.”
The Engagement Forum will help the bank and Treasury “understand the practical problems of building, implementing, and maintaining a CBDC” by bringing together “key stakeholders from industry, civil society, and academia.”
Edwin Aoki, PayPal’s Chief Technology Officer for blockchain and cryptocurrency, is a technology expert. Will Drewry, a Principal Software Engineer at Google, as well as CBDC and Payments Manager Matthieu Saint Olive from Ethereum software solutions business ConsenSys, have joined him.
Executives and payment experts from Amazon Web Services, MasterCard, Visa, Stripe, IMB, R3, and music streaming platform Spotify are also attending the Technology Forum.
The Engagement Forum includes banking executives and business specialists such as Georges Elhedery, co-CEO of HSBC Global Banking and Markets, Arun Kohli, COO of Morgan Stanley, and Stephen Gilderdale, Chief Product Officer of interbank communication standard SWIFT.
According to Cointelegraph, the Bank of England began cautiously examining CBDCs in November 2020. The central bank published a list of job openings relating to CBDC research and development in April.
It remains suspicious of cryptocurrencies, with Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warning investors in May about the risks of trading cryptocurrencies, saying, “Buy them only if you’re willing to lose all your money.”