Digital Currency Use Cases – Claire Conby – [Episode #10]

Podcast Intro (00:00:02) – Hello. Welcome to P.I.T. Exchange, a podcast by Currency Research. Join us as we discuss the latest in payments, innovation and technology with the industry’s most innovative thought leaders. Today’s payments are changing and moving around the world faster than ever before and P.I.T. exchange gives you the knowledge and insights to keep up. Sit back and relax as we join Currency Research the exchanging ideas with today’s special guest.

Shaun Ferrari (00:00:33) – Hello, everybody. Thank you for joining us on the next episode of The P.I.T. Exchange. I’m Shaun Ferrari with Currency Research and thrilled to be here talking with you today on the latest in payments, innovation and technology. Today we are thrilled to welcome Claire Conby from the Digital Pound Foundation. And we’re going to chat all about what’s going on with the digital pound, CBDCs and all fun stuff along those lines. So, Claire, welcome and thanks for joining us.

Claire Conby (00:01:04) – Yeah, thank you very much for having me.

Shaun Ferrari (00:01:06) – Thrilled, thrilled. maybe if you wouldn’t mind, just start give folks a little bit about yourself, about the Digital Pound Foundation, and then we’ll jump into some topics.

Claire Conby (00:01:16) – Sure. Thank you. So, yeah. So my name is Claire Conby. I’m the executive director and operations and innovation lead at the Digital Pound Foundation. At the Digital Pound Foundation, we’re a member-led organization that advocates for a well designed digital pound. So whether that be in public form or private forms, we are very much focused on thought leadership around what a well-designed digital pound would look like. And of course, how that then fits in within an effective, competitive and diverse ecosystem for new forms of digital money in the UK and globally.

Shaun Ferrari (00:01:50) – Awesome. I mean, there’s definitely a lot of work going on everywhere around digital currencies. and I think you, I think I saw, I mean, you, the Digital Pound Foundation, you’re not kind of out on a, an island by yourself. You’ve you’re partners with some other digital currency, foundations, organizations as well. Right?

Claire Conby (00:02:09) – Yeah. That’s right. We work really closely with the Digital Euro Association and the Digital Dollar Project. Of course, this is kind of like a global area of focus now.

Claire Conby(00:02:18) – So it’s really important that not only are we kind of collaborating where possible, but also that we’re learning from each other, leveraging each other’s knowledge and expertise. So to have strategic partnerships like that is really fantastic and just adds to the value that we can bring to the debate.

Shaun Ferrari (00:02:32) – Awesome. No. That’s good. I mean, it’s always useful to I think as people are listening from all over the world, it’s useful to hear that there are these kind of, larger global, thought processes going around and how things interrelate to each other. And it’s not just every country doing their own, their own thing. So that’s cool.

Claire Conby (00:02:53) – Yeah, exactly. And I think, you know, whilst today potentially we’re going to talk more around the, the retail kind of use cases and applications of CBDC, there’s, you know, a huge piece around the wholesale and what this means for cross borders. So to have those interrelations between jurisdictions is really, really important.

Shaun Ferrari (00:03:09) – Yeah, absolutely. So you just actually mentioned a wholesale use case, for CBDC.

Shaun Ferrari (00:03:16) – But in the retail space, the retail CBDCs, I know you guys do a lot of work on that, and you have some work. You’ve set up different workgroups, and one of one of those is on use cases. And, kind of what are the different innovation opportunities going on around use cases? Would you like to share a little bit about that?

Claire Conby (00:03:34) – Yeah, sure. I mean, it’s a really big question, isn’t it. Kind of why are we doing this? What are the retail use cases? and actually you know, through the Digital Pound Foundation, the use case working group has spent a considerable month. Well, actually well over a year now, really just trying to drill out what those compelling use cases might be because actually, you know, particularly in the UK where the existing payment rails are pretty much fit for purpose, I don’t think there are many people that would say that they’re unhappy with the choices that there are with regards to making payments today, what actually needs to be different in order for that retail user to switch from their existing payment method to actually using a CBDC? so, you know, it’s been a really kind of..

Claire Conby (00:04:16) – Really fascinating debate that we’ve had here. And every time we have started to explore different use cases, the key question has been, well, do we need a CBDC to achieve this? Do we need a new form of digital money to actually be able to offer this to the retail user? and, you know, it really is quite a challenge. But nonetheless, what this comes down to kind of in our mind, there’s two elements here. One is the opportunity to innovate. And actually, you know, I think, you know, there’s no denial that cryptocurrencies are really shown us what is possible with new technologies in the kind of payments and money space. And whilst, of course, you know, we’re not suggesting that all cryptocurrencies kind of as we know them today could be used in mainstream, it’s nonetheless there are some really strong learnings to be used there in terms of what technology can bring and how it can make a difference. one of the key areas that we focus on is, of course, programmability, you know, which typically means the ability to better control kind of your money.

Claire Conby (00:05:14) – So what we mean by that is the automated release of funds upon completion of a task, validation of a piece. So then, given that purchases of a second hand car, for example, you know, something where in the current framework there may be elements of concern or worry with regards to the timing for releasing the funds and the trust that is required in that particular transaction. also for micropayments, I think there’s a really strong use case there. You know, typically today, micropayments are disproportionately expensive, operationally complex, and features such as programmability can really enable the streamlining of back office processes, the reduction of costs, and just a much simpler and more cost effective way of making those small payments. And actually, when we talk about micropayments, we’re not just talking about payments to gig economy workers, for example. We’re talking about things like 20 rewards for returning a plastic bottle as part of a recycling campaign. There’s a whole plethora of use cases here in the micropayments space, where innovation through programmability really could make a difference.

Claire Conby (00:06:32) – and actually, when I talk about better control of your money, there was quite an interesting use case that the Bank of Thailand explored as part of their pilot, their retail CBDC pilot, and that was giving parents the ability to control the spending of their children. You know, I mean, obviously, you know, be very careful when we refer to control, but, you know, when it comes down to user and consumer choice, use cases like that could actually be quite interesting and quite useful.

Shaun Ferrari(00:07:00) – Yeah. I think and you mentioned kind of that, that fine, that fine line. I mean, there is that I think one of the, the huge benefits for a CBDC is that programmability and the use cases around that, I think there’s so much there. And I think the tricky part with that, and I know from discussions that have gone on here in the US and I’m sure, in Europe as well, and in England, the, the fine line between programmability and privacy and the right to do what you want to do with your money and all of those discussions come up.

Shaun Ferrari (00:07:33) – but as you point out, there are. There are fairly non-controversial, programmability, and ways to use that, as you point out with your, children where you could kind of target what you’re using there, even some, some government, payments. There’s been kind of a discussion on that to some degree, like, if it’s, if it’s payments, for, for food or clothing or those sorts of things, you can, you can target some of those. So there’s, there’s definitely some advantages or as you say, the smart contract aspect of it too, where upon completion of a task, funds get released or what have you.

Claire Conby (00:08:13) – Yeah. No. Exactly. And that’s why it’s such a fascinating conversation to have, you know, and what do these use cases really need to comprise of, to really compel somebody to actually want to use these new forms of digital money? That’s what it comes down to. I think a lot of time, money, effort is being put into exploring these CBDCs, and other new forms of digital money.

Claire Conby (00:08:34) – but of course, at the end of the day, you know, that there needs to be uptake to make all these efforts worthwhile.

Shaun Ferrari (00:08:40) – Yeah. And I think one of the areas that also helps in that, that discussion is, I think we’ve kind of moved away, or at least I’ve noticed kind of a moving away of the discussion, around CBDCs of, oh, these are out to replace paper currency. It doesn’t seem like in the majority of cases that’s what’s actually the goal of, of a CBDC. So if somebody wants to maintain complete anonymity and not use a digital form that might have programmability or what have you. There is always still the current system. We’re not, I mean, in most cases, we’re not looking to get rid of the current system.

Claire Conby (00:09:23) – Yeah. That’s right. I think, you know, to me it has to be about choice. You know, there are of course, some people that prefer to use physical cash for legitimate purposes but as we know, you know, cash is in some..

Claire Conby (00:09:40) – Well, we might need to edit this bit. but, you know, as we know, cash is in some places kind of less accepted, which therefore provides a challenge for those people who do not have access to mainstream financial services. Now, for individuals who are particularly seeking government backed, central bank backed, money. It seems only right that they are able to continue to do so, but to enable them to continue to do so, potentially in a digital form. So it’s about choice, I think, you know, and, you know, we are seeing a real emergence of new forms of digital money, stablecoins, CBDCs, cryptocurrencies, of course, tokenized deposits. And I think, you know, each one of those will have a place and a use and it’s down to the individual. Of course, there may be an element of education required to determine which one best suits their needs and suits their purposes. Now, there may be many people who actually couldn’t care less if the money they hold is backed by a commercial bank or by the central bank, but to some, that will matter, you know, and maybe depending on kind of financial stability, the economic climate, people’s views on that may change.

Claire Conby (00:10:50) – But I think by having a digital form of a central bank digital currency, that choice will be there. And that’s important.

Shaun Ferrari (00:10:57) – For sure. Now that’s a great point. And on that point, in terms of other digital forms of currency that are out there, it seems like this past year or so, I’m sure maybe it’s been longer, there’s been really a push in the deposit token space or, commercial bank deposit tokens. Have you have you seen that as well? Or is the Digital Pound Foundation looking at these other forms of digital currencies and how they might interact with a CBDC, or what does that environment look like where we potentially have CBDCs, deposit tokens, other stablecoins, that can all be used in some way, shape or form. How complicated is this future going to be?

Claire Conby (00:11:40) – Well, I think yeah, that is potentially a concern. And I think, you know, over the last year or so, we have seen a huge amount of information, with regards to, as you’ve mentioned, kind of like, tokenized deposits, stablecoins, etc., etc., with also a lot of activity in the regulatory space as well.

Claire Conby (00:11:57) – Now we are, of course kind of immersed in this environment, you know, and we find it at times quite daunting in terms of the complexities that exist here. However, it’s organizations like the Digital Pound Foundation that can really help to to work through how these different forms of payments differ, what the considerations are, what the risks are, what the challenges are, but most importantly, how they can coexist. The Digital Pound Foundation is not advocating for one form of money over another. It’s all about really understanding what this means in the wholesale environment, what this means in the retail environment. And so, you know, when we talk about kind of opportunities to innovate, which, you know, of course this is what this is all about. I don’t think it would be unfair to argue that maybe the private sector can move more quickly than the public sector. So, you know, there is a place for everyone here and it’s about how we kind of interrelate and how we go on this journey together, you know, and on the topic of innovation, I think what’s particularly interesting here is where the commercial opportunities will exist.

Claire Conby (00:13:02) – So if we look at CBDCs and we talk about or consider what the uptake might be, how will a CBDC compare with perhaps a more innovative private form of digital money? And what does that mean in terms of the uptake for a CBDC? Now, as we know now in the UK, along with many other, countries, the CBDC will operate on a the Bank of England will not be kind of distributing the CBDC. It’ll be issuing the CBDC. But payment interface providers will be distributing the CBDC. Now that you would assume would need to be commercially viable for the commercial bank. Now in order to make that commercially viable, they are potentially going to have to innovation. So maybe we will see innovation on the CBDC side as well as a privately issued form of digital money aspect. But quite how the timing of that works out, I don’t know, and I know I’ll be intrigued to see what happens if we see privately issued forms of digital money really advancing, then the CBDC potentially emerges. And how do the two compare?

Shaun Ferrari (00:14:06) – Yeah, no, I think that’s true.

Shaun Ferrari (00:14:08) – And I think there’s also an argument that maybe there is a sort of a tiering structure to in terms of like, okay, CBDCs are great for or at least initially, you know, great for onramp off ramp getting folks transfer between, depository institutions, getting retailers into a digital platform maybe, or out of a digital platform into their own, again, Central bank form of money? I’m not sure. I just see this kind of like once. You’re right. Once the commercial banks kind of figure try to figure out how to commercialize it and make it commercially viable, to, to operate and distribute. I think we’re going to see a lot of innovation there. what the wallets look like. How? Because at the end of the day, consumers, right. By and large, there’s a segment that’s going to care. There’s also a, I would argue, a very large, much larger segment that just want their money. they just want to be able to see their money, move their money, pay for things, get paid for things.

Shaun Ferrari (00:15:13) – The difference between commercial bank money, central bank money, whether it moves on a real time payment rail, whether it moves on a CBDC or digital currency. Crypto rail that they don’t care or know or want to care know.

Claire Conby (00:15:31) – And that’s a really interesting point because, you know, we a number of different discussions around tables that we’ve held and typically, you know, I always try and think of things really actually, maybe even more so from the user perspective then the business perspective at times. And I kind of I, you know, I think about education and how has the average person on the street really going to know what a CBDC is, how it differs? When might they want to use one? so to me, I feel that education is really important and understanding is really important. But often there are people around the table who actually suggest that it’s almost irrelevant that the average person on the street won’t need to know the difference between these different forms of digital money. And I’m really intrigued to kind of see how that plays out, you know, to what extent could a CBDC introduced and actually for it to have no real impact on the retail user? you know, it’s just another form of money kind of behind the scenes.

Claire Conby (00:16:24) – You know, I don’t know the answer to that, but it’s, it’s interesting, isn’t it? But I think you know that from a Bank of England’s perspective. In my mind, there will need to be a certain amount of educational material available for those that do want to know, but it’s whether or not people have to know. And if they don’t, then what are the implications there?

Shaun Ferrari (00:16:43) – Right. No, I think that puts it exactly right. Yeah. There’s a segment that will want to know and should be able to know and should be able to transact with it as they want to. And there’s another segment that. Won’t, won’t care. Have no reason to care. Their daily life goes on. Whether it exists, doesn’t exist, and they don’t know the difference. And that’s, that’s okay. When I worked in at the Federal Reserve and the cash area, you know, we often said we do so much work here and no one ever talks about it. And that’s kind of the point, for a payment system is that if it’s working and there’s no issue, no one thinks about it.

Shaun Ferrari (00:17:18) – It’s just seamlessly helping you go about your day, accomplishing what you need to accomplish.

Claire Conby (00:17:23) – Yeah and maybe in that case, it’s a success.

Shaun Ferrari (00:17:25) – Right? Exactly. That’s what it is.

Claire Conby (00:17:27) – Then, you know, then it’s worked.

Shaun Ferrari (00:17:30) – Right? Right. Great. well, as we mentioned, it’s kind of a global look. And we’ve been talking a lot about what’s going on, with the digital pound and a bit here in the US as well. But, you know, in thinking about this globally, do you think there are different use cases as you’ve looked at use cases and the reasons for doing this? And we’ve just mentioned that in in a lot of people’s lives, they may not even notice this is happening. And I think that’s from a developed country standpoint. the case or could be the case. In a developing country, do you think there are different use cases or a different kind of paradigm that, that they’re facing? when it when it comes to CBDCs and what they could, what value they could bring to that environment.

Claire Conby (00:18:18) – Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, certainly different jurisdictions will have different needs, different rationales for exploring and considering the feasibility of a CBDC. You know, I think, you know, in some countries, of course, financial inclusion is paramount here in terms of how to enable money to reach those, particularly who live in rural areas, for example, you know, and maybe a digital solution here, a digital form of central bank money really is the answer that could make a difference to people who may not have access to financial services in the same way that others do. I think, you know, and actually, it may not even be, as a result of, well, I mean, maybe not even in terms of kind of whether someone is rural or not. But if we look at the Bahamas, for example, where you’ve got kind of the distribution across like 3000 islands, I think then actually physically the cost of moving, moving physical cash and making sure that people have access to money, that is a strong use case for a digital form of money, reduce costs, makes access to the cash, a lot simpler.

Claire Conby (00:19:23) – and so I think, you know, even there, there are different reasons for why this digital distribution is a good idea. Some countries where, you know, financial stability is, you know, a real consideration. Then again, you know, enabling access to central bank backed money could be a real benefit there. Transparency, you know, again, a digital form of money could potentially help to reduce kind of financial crime, money laundering and things like that. Now, of course, as we’ve discussed, you know, there are most likely always going to be individuals that seek that completely anonymous physical form of money. However, by enhancing transparency through digital records of transactions, you would like to think there would be some positive impact on how financial crime can be managed. And I think generally, you know, kind of the opportunity to stimulate innovation, by enabling digital financial services in a country where perhaps they, they seek new products and services but require that digital infrastructure. Then again, a digital form of money can only help in that ecosystem.

Shaun Ferrari (00:20:33) – Yeah. No thanks. I think those points are right on. I think, there are definitely, use cases for, for digital currencies. And as we’ve talked about before, maybe not necessarily always a CBDC, maybe it’s a stablecoin or deposit token or what have you. But this this digital. Infrastructure does solve a lot of logistics problems. When you have transport issues and islands to worry about and just tough transportation, situations for whatever reason. And, you know, we had an interesting discussion on a previous podcast, with Ananya Kumar with, with, the Atlantic Council talking about kind of how a CBDC could be very useful in, for like a Palestinian state where, your, your war torn or you have, again, just various reasons, the control reasons you, you mentioned to in terms of getting money where it’s supposed to go to who it’s supposed to go to, those use cases are very powerful.

Claire Conby (00:21:34) – So, yeah. Aid disbursement, I mean, and even actually in terms of charitable donations and things like that, actually being able to better make sure they get to who the funds are intended for.

Claire Conby (00:21:45) – You know, I think that in itself, you know, the ease of disbursement and the, the transparency there. Is really important, but actually an important point that I kind of forgot to make the bit that I’d quite like to is that, you know, we talked about financial inclusion and access to cash in developing countries, but, you know, it’s not just developing countries that that impacts. And even if we look at the UK, the Access to Cash report showed that 10 million adults in the UK would struggle in a cashless society. So, you know, that in itself, in a developed country is an argument for making sure that there are digital forms of cash in a world where acceptance of physical cash is declining. So, you know, it’s not just the developing countries that have needs like that. But again, it comes down to choice and different people’s needs. And I don’t think anyone is suggesting that a CBDC is going to be forced upon somebody. But if it’s there, as part of a suite of payment methods to choose from, then to me that seems really helpful.

Shaun Ferrari (00:22:48) – Yeah. No, absolutely. And I think the financial inclusion is always an interesting one because the technology I mean, you can see if you agree with this, but I think the technology will enable financial inclusion with a CBDC, it can be designed in such a way that it will definitely enable it. The piece that has to still adjust, though is the policy piece. I think the technology is there can be done. Time and money, technology can do it. It’s the policies around that. So say you issue a CBDC, you still need. Likely a phone, likely if it’s run through a commercial bank, a bank account. If barriers to banking accounts and. Funding, whether that’s through gifting, phones or charitable contributions of phones or government programs or whatever. There needs to be an infrastructure on the back end and some policy changes that. Countries decide to make, to make it work. They have to go hand in hand. I know Janna on your team works a lot on the government policy side of things, but.

Claire Conby (00:23:52) – Yeah, I mean, our policy, legal and regulatory working group is really busy, as I’m sure you can imagine. You know, the number of consultation papers and things that there have been over the last kind of, you know, 12 to 18 months. But, you know, I think that’s right. Of course, policy is fundamental here. But I think, you know, through CBDC, potentially there are the opportunity to do things differently. And if we’re talking about simply giving somebody access to, a digital form of payment, for example, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be fully onboarded into mainstream financial services as we know it today, which is a challenge for, for some people. So potentially taking a lighter touch approach just to enable people to have access to a CBDC wallet, which then gives them access to digital cash. That in my mind, again, it could work. You know, policy isn’t necessarily kind of the, the, the showstopper here. you know, and it’s the opportunity to do things differently.

Claire Conby (00:24:48) – And even when, through our identity and privacy working group, we’ve looked at CBDCs as an opportunity to rethink AML generally. You know, I mean, well, we’ve got so much innovation and thinking going on. Let’s really review the existing payment landscape and think about how we can make things better, more efficient and more accessible.

Shaun Ferrari (00:25:08) – Yeah, perfect. And that kind of a great bridge to the last topic I wanted to just mention with you, in terms of making things more, more efficient, I’ll go a little farther and say sustainable. so there’s a lot of work on sustainable finance and a lot of discussion on that all over the ecosystem right now. Is that kind of a work stream that that you all are looking at and considering as well?

Claire Conby (00:25:31) – Yeah. Well, funny you should say that, because actually, we’re about to launch a digital sustainable finance working group. and we are currently looking for new members to join that working group and to join the discussion. You know, we do recognize, of course, sustainability is being a really important factor and consideration here.

Claire Conby (00:25:47) – And I think, you know, it’s when we talk about new forms of digital money and what compelling use cases could be, I think the sustainability argument is really going to come through here as well. So we very much look forward to really delving into the sustainability angle and actually producing quality thought leadership on that subject. So all I can really say is watch this space on that topic but it certainly is next on our agenda to really start to to work through.

Shaun Ferrari (00:26:13) – Perfect. well, and that’s next on your agenda. Is there anything else big on the horizon? Is there any kind of closing thoughts or, what should we be looking out for from the from the Digital Pound Foundation? I won’t ask you the crystal ball question of when is there going to be on. But but, in terms of what’s big on your horizon? what? Yeah. What’s out there?

Claire Conby(00:26:35) – Yeah. So I mentioned the Identity and Privacy working group. Our use case worker, what we’ve spoken about as well. And both working groups now really want to move beyond kind of the thinking and the talking and more on the, the showing and developing proofs of concept.

Claire Conby (00:26:49) – So we really hope this year to actually be able to show and demonstrate how a CBDC could work, within both those contexts. There’s also, of course, a huge amount of work around stablecoin regulation. So, you know, we’re really active in that space in terms of engagement with the FCA and the Bank of England. So again, you know, we look forward to producing some quality thought leadership with regards to what the regulatory landscape might look like. And finally, we’re really just focusing on trying to expand our community of members. There’s a huge amount to do of work to do. The more discussions we have, the more issues and considerations that seem to emerge and so we’re really looking forward to being able to broaden even further the scope of discussions and output that we produce.

Shaun Ferrari (00:27:32) – Awesome. Thank you. That’s a lot to look forward to. And I’m going to you know, I think you set that up great too because I’m going to I’m going to plug some work that we’re doing together. So in September, Currency Research is hosting the Payment Innovation and Technology Week, in London, where we’re going to have our digital currency conference and AI conference.

Shaun Ferrari (00:27:52) – And we’ve partnered with Claire and the Digital Pound Foundation, more broadly, to do some workshops and have more discussions, and maybe we’ll even have a chance to do some of the show and tell of a proof of concept that you all might be, might be working on. So we’re excited for that.

Claire Conby (00:28:07) – Yeah. No, definitely. We’re very much looking forward to collaborating with you there. So yeah, it’s going to be a great event.

Shaun Ferrari (00:28:12) – Yeah. Thank you. All right. Well thanks Claire. Thanks for joining us and taking the time to tell everybody about the latest with the Digital Pound. we appreciate having you on. Thank you very much.

Claire Conby (00:28:22) – Thank you for having me.

Shaun Ferrari (00:28:24) – Great. Well, thanks, everybody for joining us for this episode of The P.I.T. Exchange was a great conversation. We look forward to seeing and talking with you again soon on a future episode. And please like, subscribe, follow all those great things on your most, listened to or favorite podcast station. Thanks a lot and see you soon somewhere around the world and talk to you soon as well. Take care.

Podcast Outro (00:28:53) – Thank you for listening to The P.I.T. Exchange, a podcast by Currency Research. Check out our upcoming events and publications at currencyresearch.com, and join us for our next episode to hear what’s trending in payments, innovation and technology.

In our recent podcast episode, we had the pleasure of engaging with Claire Conby, the Executive Director and Operations and Innovation Lead at the Digital Pound Foundation. Together, we explored the cutting-edge developments in payment innovation and technology, with a special focus on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and the pivotal role of the Digital Pound Foundation.

Advocating for a Digital Pound: The Mission of the Digital Pound Foundation

Claire Conby introduced us to the core mission of the Digital Pound Foundation, which champions the creation of a well-designed digital pound. The foundation is at the forefront of thought leadership in the digital money ecosystem, advocating for strategic partnerships and knowledge sharing among global digital currency organizations, including the Digital Euro Association and the Digital Dollar Project.

Retail Use Cases and the Promise of CBDCs

Our conversation with Claire shed light on the compelling retail use cases for CBDCs. We discussed the necessity of identifying use cases that would entice retail users to transition from traditional payment methods to CBDCs. The potential for innovation in programmability, micropayments, and enhanced control over money was a highlight, showcasing how digital currencies can streamline processes and reduce costs.

Balancing Innovation with Privacy

A key challenge we addressed was the need to balance the programmability of digital currencies with privacy and consumer choice. We also examined the possibility of CBDCs coexisting with other forms of digital money, such as stablecoins and deposit tokens. The importance of educating retail users and ensuring transparency and financial inclusion across different global contexts was emphasized.

Financial Inclusion and the Role of Policy

The potential for CBDCs to foster financial inclusion was a central theme of our discussion. We delved into the policy and regulatory considerations that must be addressed to enable this. The speakers highlighted the importance of policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks in facilitating access to digital forms of payment without requiring full integration into mainstream financial services.

Sustainable Finance and the Digital Pound Foundation’s Initiatives

Sustainable finance emerged as a significant opportunity within the digital currency landscape. The Digital Pound Foundation is set to launch a digital sustainable finance working group, aiming to integrate sustainability into the digital currency space and produce thought leadership on the subject.

Looking Ahead: Proofs of Concept and Collaborations

Looking to the future, the Digital Pound Foundation is moving from ideation to action, focusing on developing proofs of concept for CBDC use cases. They are also working on stablecoin regulation and engaging with regulatory authorities. The goal is to expand their community of members and broaden the scope of discussions and output.

Join the Conversation!

As we conclude this insightful journey, we invite you to continue the dialogue and participate in the upcoming Payments, Innovation, and Technology Week. This premier event focuses on the latest trends and research in digital currency use and AI applications for central banks. Join us to explore cutting-edge developments and engage with industry leaders shaping the future of payments and financial technology.

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