According to a survey of 2,500 UK adults carried out for POLITICO by Redfield & Wilton Strategies this month, the British public doesn’t believe in central bank digital currencies. A CBDC is a digital currency issued by a country’s central bank. They stand in opposition to ward off competition from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, which have no centralized entity issuing the currency.
Only 24% of British adults surveyed believe a CBDC would be a net positive for society.
According to the survey for POLITICO, only 24% of British adults surveyed—less than one quarter—believe a CBDC would be a net positive for society. A total of 30% believe a CBDC would bring more harm than good to the UK. Those surveyed listed a wide variety of concerns, the highest of which was the threat of cyberattacks and hackers potentially undermining a CBDC issued by the Bank of England. A total of 73% of surveyed Britishers were worried about this risk. A close second—with 70% of respondents listing this as a concern—was the potential loss of payment privacy.
Government authorities being able to seize funds is a concern for some.
Almost two-thirds of respondents—66%—said they were concerned about government authorities being able to seize their funds from digital wallets. Around 45% of respondents raised concerns about the potential environmental harm that a CBDC would cause—a concern that is widespread among cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, in contrast, the Bank of England’s director of fintech, Tom Mutton, reportedly said CBDCs could give rise to a variety of benefits for the UK. “Access to central bank money in the form of CBDC could support wider public policy objectives,” Mutton said. “Central banks across countries are actively working on CBDCs.