Positive Money have launched a joint statement on Digital Cash, which will be presented to the Treasury Select Committee next month. Click here to read the full statement and add your name.
Earlier this month, MPs on the influential Treasury Select Committee announced an inquiry into the role of digital currencies. For those of us who believe in reforming our money system to support a fairer and more democratic economy, this presents an exciting opportunity.
Positive Money believes that the Bank of England should issue its own digital currency, or Digital Cash. This would mean giving everyone the ability to store their money safely in an account held at the Bank of England. Right now most of the electronic money we use is created by commercial banks when they make loans. The big banks get handed a £23 billion subsidy every year, and the government’s on the hook if their reckless speculation risks them going bust.
If the Bank of England were to issue digital cash, it would mean we’d all have access to a safe form of electronic money without having to rely on a high street bank. Billions worth of subsidies to banks would be removed, and the payments system would be protected.
The Bank of England already issues digital currency, in the form of deposits held by commercial banks in accounts at the Bank of England. It can provide digital currency simply by making these accounts available to non-bank companies and individuals. Click here to read more about how this would work.
The Bank of England is researching the idea, but we need government to show leadership as well. That’s why we need to make sure that the Treasury Select Committee recommends to the Government that it supports and accelerates the introduction of Digital Cash. A recommendation from this powerful group of MPs would be impossible to ignore.
The inquiry closes on 13th April, and we need to make sure that MPs on the committee know that we, the public, want Digital Cash. That’s why Positive Money is collecting signatures for the following statement:
With the ongoing decline of physical cash, the UK is more and more reliant on a handful of big banks. This means that the economy is at risk from banks’ lending activities, and banks have to be propped up by taxpayer money.
We believe that it is time to take advantage of new technology to reshape money and payments in the public interest.
We therefore support proposals for the Bank of England to issue a digital version of cash. This would take the form of a risk-free, publicly-issued electronic money.
The Bank of England already issues digital currency in the form of deposits held by commercial banks in accounts at the Bank of England. It can provide Digital Cash simply by making these accounts available to non-bank companies and individuals.
Doing so would make our payments system more resilient, reduce our reliance on a small number of unaccountable institutions, and help stimulate competition and innovation in payments services.
We call on the Treasury Select Committee to recognise the clear benefits of Digital Cash and the public support for it represented by this petition, and to recommend its introduction.
Please click here to add your name.