Rishi Sunak's 'Britcoin' vision branded 'waste of time' and copy of 'failed' Chinese plan

Speaking to Express.co.uk bitcoin expert Max Keiser warned "Britain will waste time doing the same thing" as the doomed Chinese digital currency project that has floundered in its development stage since 2014. The UK is the latest country to begin testing out the idea of a central bank based blockchain digital currency that tries to emulate the preeminent cryptocurrency bitcoin. The week UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Sunak tweeted "Britcoin?" as he implemented a new task force to consider the idea of a Bank of England-controlled digital currency.

However, Mr Keiser said that the UK is following the same "failed" path as China, in attempting to make their own coin.

He added: "But now it appears China has given up and will start accumulating Bitcoin."

Mr Keiser added that the "UK is following the failed Chinese experiment in trying to create a blockchain digital currency and will waste time doing the same thing with Britcoin before realising they can't beat bitcoin".

This news comes as China's central bank is now calling bitcoin an “investment alternative”.

The announcement by China's central bank is a significant shift in the nation's attitude towards bitcoin.

Four years ago Beijing enacted a crackdown on cryptocurrency issuance within its borders.

But now a representative of the People’s Bank of China on Sunday stated to CNBC: “We regard bitcoin and stablecoin as crypto assets, these are investment alternatives.

“They are not a currency per se.

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Speaking at a panel moderated by CNBC at the Boao Forum for Asia in China Li Bo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said: “For the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, we were trying to make e-CNY available not only to domestic users but also to international athletes and like visitors."

Referring to the UK's ambition to create its own blockchain-based digital currency, Jeremy Thomson-Cook, Chief Economist at international business payments specialist Equals Money, said: "This ‘Britcoin’ would be tied to the value of the pound to eliminate holding it as an asset from to derive profit."

He added that it would have a positive impact on the UK's tech sector.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “There could be an economic impact in the form of wider investment into the UK tech sector and lower transaction costs for international businesses.”

Speaking of the new financial technology experiment, Mr Sunak said: "Our vision is for a more open, greener, and more technologically advanced financial services sector.

"The UK is already known for being at the forefront of innovation, but we need to go further.

"The steps I've outlined today, to boost growing fintechs, push the boundaries of digital finance, and make our financial markets more efficient, will propel us forward.

"And if we can capture the extraordinary potential of technology, we'll cement the UK's position as the world's pre-eminent financial centre."

The Bank of England has said a pound-based digital currency would be "digital money issued by the Bank of England and for use by households and businesses".

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