A Twitter poll run by the Bank of England has left them in no doubt as to where the future of money lies, with digital assets capturing the vast majority of voters who were asked in what form they would prefer monetary gifts for Christmas.
If you receive money as a gift at Christmas, what’s your favourite way to get it?
With three days left of the poll, it seems like fans of cash and bank transfers are going to have to stage a remarkable turnaround if they are to regain enough ground to turn it into a proper contest. Gift vouchers, which burst into the public consciousness in 1970 when McDonalds invited customers to “give a hamburger to someone you love”, seem to be verging on obsolete, despite some $46 billion being spent on gift cards in 2016.
Banking on Brit-coin?
The Bank of England has had a mixed relationship with cryptocurrencies in recent years. In 2016 it made headlines when it announced it would be launching its own crypto, snappily called RSCoin, with research continuing into 2017. Media reports at the start of 2018 suggested that the bank was planning to launch the coin “within months”, but the bank denied this, saying it had in fact halted the project due to worries that customers would leave their banks for the institution-free crypto, causing chaos in the financial markets. The possibility of a national cryptocurrency is still on the table it seems, with governor Mark Carney calling for regulation of the space, but still open to the prospect when the time is right.
You Can Go Your Own Way
Mark Carney recently left his position as Chair of the Financial Stability Board, a position he used in October to state that “…crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time.” This was an interesting statement for him to make given that he had ruled out a national cryptocurrency for the UK on that exact basis. Carney was also broadly dismissive of cryptocurrencies in the same paper, stating: “…crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies and do not serve as a common means of payment, a stable store of value, or a mainstream unit of account.”
While it is not probable that a Twitter poll will change his stance on digital assets, unlike, say, a change in the direction of the wind, it may however make him and his associates sit up and take notice of the views of the next generation of currency users. As we have seen with music and video over the past decade or so, if there are easier alternatives out there, people don’t hang around waiting for the ‘official’ version of something – they forge their own path. Money will be no different.