Discussions about plans for a digital pound (CBDC), dubbed Britcoin, were first initiated by the Bank of England and the UK Treasury in April 2021. Later, in February 2023, the central bank issued a consultation paper outlining the future design of the digital pound and formed a dedicated working group.
Summarising the group's preliminary findings, BoE director of financial technology development Tom Mutton told reporters that the digital pound ecosystem would not collect personal information.
"The Bank of England will know the total amount of transactions, but it will not have data on the people who made them. Whereas the wallet provider will have user data but will not have access to transaction data," Mutton said.
The official assured that neither the Bank of England, the government nor digital wallet providers would have exhaustive access to any personal data to identify the digital pound user and match financial transactions. In special cases, digital wallet providers will need to obtain specific permission from the user to store certain data.
Earlier, speaking at the Financial Times digital assets conference, Tom Matton told participants that the central bank is not seeking to make the digital pound completely anonymous because of the very high level of financial crime in the UK.