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Last chance to apply for £66,000 job as UK’s head of CBDCs

Last chance to apply for £66,000 job as UK’s head of CBDCs
You've heard of Bitcoin. Have you heard of Britcoin?

By midnight tonight, the UK government is taking the process of establishing a new digital pound to the next level. That is when the Treasury closes its recruitment for a new head of central bank digital currency.

The successful candidate will lead the government body’s work to potentially create a so-called “Britcoin.”

The job, which says it pays as much as £66,500 for London-based candidates, is “important, complex and cross-cutting, and the leadership will involve extensive engagement across and beyond HM Treasury,” the advert said. “If you’re interested in making a difference to people’s lives across the country, the Treasury is the department for you!”

The role comes as the Treasury teams up with the Bank of England to launch a probe into how a British CBDC could become a reality by the second half of this decade, and as the UK government examines how to better police the crypto industry.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak first floated the idea of a digital pound in April 2021 during his tenure as finance minister – setting up a joint task force to investigate how the digital pound could be implemented. The Treasury’s new CBDC head will coordinate between the Exchequer and the Bank of England once the consultation is finished. The government body plans to start interviewing candidates over the next two weeks, while the successful candidate will be contracted for 24 months.

The HM Treasury did not respond to requests for comment about how many people have already applied to the role.

“While cash is here to stay, a digital pound issued and backed by the Bank of England could be a new way to pay that’s trusted, accessible and easy to use,” Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in a statement about the government’s plans, pressing the need to ensure that the introduction of a CBDC did not impair financial stability.

Similarly, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey noted that the consultation would also investigate how a digital pound could be introduced without putting people’s privacy at risk.

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Britain is not alone in pursuing a digital currency. There are hundreds of similar projects in different stages of development across the world. For instance, China has trialled a digital yuan since April 2021 and similar projects are also underway in places like the US, the EU and Australia.

However, the CBDCs that have been launched so far have been mostly unsuccessful. For example, Nigeria launched the digital currency the eNaira in 2021. The adoption of the CBDC has been underwhelming so far.

The Central Bank of Nigeria even went as far as writing to banks and other financial institutions in December 2022, limiting how much people could withdraw.