Almost two thirds of British people would not support a cryptocurrency issued by their central bank, according to a survey. Pollsters also found that the majority of Britons have already heard of bitcoin, however, a third of the respondents admitted they would be more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies if they were regulated.
Brits Want Regulated Cryptos, Not Centralized Coins
The survey has indicated a rising awareness about cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom. The majority of Brits – 93 percent – now say they have heard of bitcoin, compared to 91 percent in January of this year, and 80 percent in November 2017.
The online poll, conducted by D-CYFOR, also found that Britons wouldn’t trust a government-backed crypto, as reported by the Daily Express reported. 60 percent of the interviewed said they would not support the Bank of England in introducing its own digital coin.
British people remain cautious and generally pessimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies. More than 60 percent of those surveyed expect a decrease, or even a collapse in the value of bitcoin over the next six months.
The results come in contrast to those from another survey conducted earlier this year. It found that more than half of financial professionals in the UK, who have invested in cryptocurrencies, intend to buy more digital coins this year.
The pollsters also asked participants if they would consider investing in other cryptocurrencies, besides bitcoin. Fourteen percent said they would put money into Bitcoin Cash (BCH), 20 percent would invest in Ethereum, followed by Ripple with 6 percent, and Litecoin at 5 percent.
About a third of the respondents said they would be “more likely” to invest in cryptocurrency if the government in London regulated the crypto sector.
Central Bank Digital Money – A Dying Prospect
The attitude of the British public towards the idea of issuing a state-backed cryptocurrency is not an isolated sentiment. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has recently spoken against the prospect of releasing a central bank digital coin. Carney is also a critic of bitcoin, claiming that the leading decentralized crypto has failed on the traditional aspects of money – store of value and medium of exchange.
Other central bankers have voiced concerns with regards to centralized, government-backed cryptocurrencies. This week, the Bank of Japan’s Deputy Governor, Masayoshi Amamiya, said that digital currencies issued by central banks may have a large impact on the traditional financial “two-tier” system – in which the central bank allows direct access to its accounts only to a limited number of entities, such as private banks. A centralized crypto would affect their “financial intermediation” role by granting households and businesses direct access to central bank accounts, he warned. Mr. Amamiya’s remarks indicated that the Bank of Japan has no immediate plans to issue its own crypto.
Earlier this month, a high-ranking official from the Swiss National Bank expressed similar concerns. According to the member of the SNB’s governing board Andrea Maechler, state-issued digital money would make it easier for account holders to withdraw their funds, if they felt a bank was in difficulties. A government-backed crypto would deliver scarcely any advantages and is not necessary to ensure efficient cashless payments, she noted. Maechler thinks that cryptocurrencies are less risky than any version issued by a central bank.
What do you think about centralized, state-controlled cryptocurrencies? Would you invest in a government-issued digital coin? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Brookings.
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Author: Lubomir Tassev