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Central Bank Digital Currency: Respond to Bank of England Consultation

Campaign Start Date: 01/06/2023
Campaign End Date: 30/06/2023

Campaign Summary

The Bank of England is planning to pilot a Central Bank Digital Currency – a “Digital Pound.”

Campaign Overview

This scheme – arising from no democratic mandate – poses serious risks, without clear benefit. We encourage you to respond to the official consultation and make your feelings known.

The original deadline has been extended to 30 June.

Campaign Action Steps

Step 1: Open up a blank email

Use this email address to send your email to (click the link and you should find a blank email opens up):

digitalpoundconsultation2023@bankofengland.co.uk

Use a subject line such as: Response to consultation

 

Step 2: Write your concerns and views in your email – always best if you can write your own – but you can use our template as a starting point:

I am a member of the public and I wish to express deep concern about the “Digital Pound” plans.

This idea seems to be yet another undemocratic “solution in search of a problem” with no clear benefits, but which poses grave dangers and fundamental, irreversible changes for the people of this country, especially the most vulnerable.

At minimum: how would you ensure a Central Bank Digital Currency is not used as a means for Government or third parties to dictate how we spend our money; that it is not used as a tool to shut down free expression; that intrusive surveillance of the public does not occur? That, ultimately, it does not morph into a nightmare, China-style “social credit” system?

If you do not have watertight answers to these questions, these plans – which are not based on any democratic mandate – can only be regarded as dangerous in the extreme and must be scrapped.

There are several obvious and serious risks:

Privacy – is it not inevitable that this scheme would result in intrusive surveillance, with every transaction recorded by Government? Without privacy there is no freedom. Are you not also creating a totally unnecessary and gargantuan security risk – a prime target for hackers, fraudsters, blackmailers, stalkers and criminals of all kinds?

Programmability – neither Government nor third parties have any right to dictate how I spend my money. The very idea of “programmable” currency is not one that should be entertained.

Yet more discrimination and exclusion directed at older and vulnerable people – around 5m people in the UK do not have internet access, let alone smartphones. Many of these are older people who already struggle greatly and whose quality of life is worsening before their eyes because of an increasingly ‘cashless society.’ What of homeless people or other vulnerable groups? We must assume this proposal would only accelerate this trend. This seems another scheme dreamed up by and for a remote, young, affluent, tech-savvy elite. What would it actually do to millions of ordinary people in their real lives?

I utterly oppose mandatory (or de facto mandatory) Digital ID – which is what this proposal almost certainly threatens in reality. The UK public has consistently rejected ID cards, yet the technocratic impulse to number and track us all as though we were little ants never seems to go away. We must not have Digital ID as a pre-requisite to participate in society or the economy.

Furthermore, there is the suggestion in the proposal that third parties will be able to exploit the data generated to “develop marketing activities” and “tailor products and services.” I ask again – who does this proposal actually serve?

Given the authoritarian and ultimately disastrous performance of the Government over the last three years, any sensible person has good reason to be extremely wary of this proposal.

It is not as though there aren’t other projects far more deserving of official attention, that would actually benefit the public in very real ways: the cost of living crisis and huge inflation would do for starters.

If the Bank of England and Government cannot demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly how they could deliver a “Digital Pound” that actually benefits the people of this country without exposing it to nightmarish new risks, this elite project should be scrapped.

Further Campaign Information

Campaign Progress

Updates on campaign progress will be added here once the campaign is under way.

Campaign Media