The Geopolitical Case for a digital Pound | London, 23 March 2023

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About the event

Date: 23 March 2023
Time: 17:30 – 20:30 GMT
Location: London

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) – a digital form of central bank-issued fiat currency – have seen explosive growth in interest over the past four years. At the start of 2023, 114 countries, representing 95% of global GDP, are currently exploring CBDC, of which 60 are in an advanced stage of development, pilot or launch, with 11 having fully launched a CBDC. This does not include China’s pilot, which currently reaches 260 million users and is expected to expand to most of the country in 2023. The UK itself is also potentially moving closer to adoption with the Bank of England and HM Treasury recently issuing a consultation paper on a retail CBDC.

But what are the policy drivers and motivations behind the rise of CBDCs? Are CBDCs just a natural response to practicalities surrounding the decline of cash or are they more geopolitical in nature? And how does this vary around the world? 

There has also been a growing recognition of the wider benefits associated with CBDCs beyond their use as payments instruments. This includes opportunities for innovation and competition arising from programmable, digital-native central bank-issued money. 

In this event, our expert speakers and panel will explore the geopolitical considerations that governments and central banks must take into account when deciding whether and how to introduce a CBDC in their own jurisdiction. In particular, given the Bank of England’s recent publication of its consultation on the digital Pound, we will look at the UK’s unique set of motivations and drivers, and how a CBDC may help to  underpin the delivery of numerous policy objectives – not least of which involves maintaining the UK’s position of global leadership in financial services and fintech.

Speakers & Panellists

Headshot of Jannah Patchay, Founder at Markets Evolution

Jannah Patchay

Policy Lead, Digital Pound Foundation


William Lovell

Head of Future Technology, Bank of England


Headshot of Richard Ells, Founder & CEO at Electroneum

Richard Ells

Founder & CEO, Electroneum


Rebecca Park, Global Counsel

Rebecca Park

Senior Practice Director, Global Counsel


David Karney, Worldline

David Karney

Head of Digital Assets, Worldline UK&I


Varun Paul, Fireblocks

Varun Paul

Central Bank Digital Currency and Market Infrastructure Director, Fireblocks



Doors open and welcome drinks in networking space

Move to seated area, welcome speech from Clifford Chance

Keynote from the panel moderator, Jannah Patchay

Panel discussion

Drinks and canapés

Doors close

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