Minutes of the CBDC Academic Advisory Group – March 2024


Date: 19 March 2024

Item 1: Welcome

Neeraj Patel (co-chair, HM Treasury) welcomed members to the first meeting of the CBDC Academic Advisory Group. He reminded members that the agreed meeting format would comprise three presentations from members, followed by a facilitated discussion. The chairs invited members to present.

Item 2: The Future of Money and Payments – Presentation by Dr Iwa Salami

Dr Iwa Salami presented on the role of the central bank in maintaining financial and monetary stability, as well as governance of CBDC models and accountability.

Members discussed whether financial inclusion should be a primary policy driver for CBDC. They also discussed the role of Payment Interface Providers (PIPs) in the digital pound ecosystem, including their regulatory framework. The Bank noted the regulatory framework for a digital pound had not been identified, but this might be an area on which members can provide useful expertise.

Item 3: Behavioural Drivers of Payment Intentions: UK Survey Evidence – Presentation by Professor Darren Duxbury

Professor Darren Duxbury presented a study of behavioural drivers of cash usage preferences, including the implications for work on a digital pound. In discussion, members asked about the methodology behind his research and the role of cash in the future. One member suggested that further research could explore how behavioural factors may affect adoption of any future digital pound.

Item 4: The Risks and Opportunities of Central Bank Digital Currencies – Presentation by Professor Bill Buchanan OBE

Professor Bill Buchanan OBE presented on the risks and opportunities of CBDCs from a technology perspective. He addressed the role of AI, quantum, cybersecurity, and programmable payments. Members discussed how different forms of technology such as distributed ledger technology or digital identities may change the role of banking and finance.

Item 5: Roundtable discussion

The co-chairs thanked the three presenters and opened the discussion for the next part of the meeting. The chairs noted that our work on a digital pound is just one part of the Government and Bank of England’s efforts to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of innovation in money, payments, and digital finance. The chairs asked members to consider what role a digital pound could play set against the changes being experienced, and expected to occur in the future, in the payments landscape.

Item 5.1: Discussion point – How should we identify and assess the potential scenarios of the future payments landscape?

Members discussed the timeframes over which potential scenarios may be considered. Some timeframes are focused on the payments landscape, but longer timeframes may need to consider wider societal changes. For example, members discussed the possibility of digital assets becoming more commonly used than money within 30 years. Members cautioned on the reliance of studying previous trends as an indication of future trends.

Members had a range of views on tokenisation and its role in a future economy. One member expressed the possible need for a digital pound to maintain financial stability, in the event that many assets became tokenised.

One member outlined their thinking on the role of a digital pound as an anchor. They summarised that it was important for the implementation of monetary policy that the pound remained the unit of account for the United Kingdom. While it was thought to be unlikely this would be threatened, it is possible that if different types of money are created and denominated in sterling, then the fungibility of money may be lost. While a digital pound may not be needed in the immediate term, there are scenarios where having a digital pound is prudent.

Many members considered cybersecurity as an important future consideration, alongside the rights of citizens. They noted that legislation was being considered globally in this context, and one member discussed how a PIP might be managing these risks. They noted that while larger financial institutions have the capabilities to run large teams dedicated to security of accounts, smaller firms may not be able to match this.

Members also discussed the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in any future scenarios, and the interactions between SMEs and larger corporates – particularly how SMEs could be affected by cybersecurity risk and security failings that could occur.

Item 5.2: Discussion point – What does a ‘mixed’ payments ecosystem look like in steady state? How can we best promote this in our design choices?

Members felt that there was relatively little widespread public understanding of the different forms of money, and that the current payments landscape is both complex and in parts largely invisible to end users. Members noted that future use cases for new forms of money may make it easier for end users to differentiate between them. They noted that wider engagement with SMEs and individuals on a broad range of payment issues could support this.

Members discussed how payments trends are increasingly driven by the transaction context, rather than the method. Members recommended considering how the scenarios in which payments occur may change, and how this might drive change in the payment needs of individuals and businesses.

Members discussed how end users are typically engaged with technology projects and asked how the Bank and HM Treasury foresaw the use of pilot testing. The chair noted pilot testing would occur as part of any future build stage, in the event a decision was taken to build a digital pound.

Item 5.3: Discussion point – How might current trends in payment technology inform us on future adoption of a new forms of money?

Members discussed the respective roles of the public and private sector. For example, members discussed the public sector’s role in providing a safe and reliable means of payment, like cash. One member noted the important role a digital pound could play in supporting financial inclusion. Members considered how the private sector could harness new technologies to develop innovative payments features, that individuals and businesses may wish to use. Members also discussed possible use cases for a digital pound, noting micropayments as a potential area of interest. One member pointed out that the idea of micropayments has been around for a long time and suggested looking at different uptake levels globally to understand it further.

One member raised the link between financial inclusion and digital inclusion, noting that cash use doesn’t require digital literacy. They highlighted the importance of the Government legislation to support access to cash to maintain a mixed payment system.

Members considered the role of incumbent actors in the payments landscape, citing their brand recognition and existing customer base as a potential barrier to a digital pound. The chairs highlighted that the current payments landscape has many benefits but noted that there was still some scope to improve the experience for consumers and merchants. Members also discussed the risk of bank runs and the extent to which people might transfer deposits from commercial banks to a digital pound.

Item 6: AOB and close

The co-chairs thanked members for a wide-ranging discussion. They explained that the next meeting would be focused on privacy and trust and invited members to consider if they would wish to present.


Nick Mclaren (co-chair) – Bank of England 

Neeraj Patel (co-chair) – HM Treasury

Iain de Weymarn (observer) – Bank of England


Alistair Milne, Loughborough University

Andrew Theo Levin, Dartmouth College

Anna Omarini, Bocconi University

Bill Buchanan, Edinburgh Napier University

Burcu Yüksel Ripley, University of Aberdeen

Danae Stanton Fraser, University of Bath

Darren Duxbury, Newcastle University

David Robert Skeie, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Davide Romelli, Trinity College Dublin

Dirk Niepelt, University of Bern & CEPR

Doh-Shin Jeon, Toulouse School of Economics

Gbenga Ibikunle, University of Edinburgh

Iwa Salami, University of East London

Jonathan Michie, Kellogg College, University of Oxford

Marta F. Arroyabe, University of Essex

Michael Cusumano, Sloan School of Management, MIT

Pinar Ozcan, Said Business School, University of Oxford

Sheri Marina Markose, University of Essex


Alexander Edmund Voorhoeve, London School of Economics


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