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Bank of England opens applications for sample CBDC wallet


The Bank of England will be accepting proof-of-concept applications for a sample wallet for the central bank's digital currency until December 23.

Potential CBDC product

While bank officials said they will not be developing the user wallet themselves, they stressed that they want to explore the “end-to-end user path as a way to enhance functional requirements for both the bank and the private sector” and make the CBDC product “more tangible to internal and external stakeholders.” Key components include a mobile wallet app for Android and iOS, a wallet website, a sample merchant website and an internal server.

The bank said it had not previously worked on a sample wallet for a potential CBDC. The budget range for the initial five-month contract is £200,000 ($245,200).

Edinburgh reforms

This activity is part of a package of so-called Edinburgh reforms aimed at accelerating economic growth after Brexit and stimulating innovation. The list consists of 30 items describing actions aimed at strengthening the U.K. financial sector and is expected to boost investment in cryptocurrency businesses in the country.

In particular, the government is committed to publishing progress on a central bank digital currency for the U.K. The Treasury and Bank of England continue to explore the digital pound as multiple jurisdictions around the world make efforts to issue their own central bank-backed digital coins.

Cryptocurrencies will be subject to an investment management exemption, which should encourage foreign investors to invest in the U.K. crypto industry.

If you're interested in learning more about how crypto-regulation happens in Western Europe, you can read this detailed primer.