The Bank of England seems to be preparing for a future in which its venerable fiat currency will be available as a digital token. If we guide our speculation by recent discussion and actions take by BoE directors and financial regulators, we may be headed towards a future in which British monetary policy will be modernized for the purpose of competing against the European Union.

Economists largely agree that one of the factors that the pound sterling has prevented economic chaos in the United Kingdom in the wake of Brexit. Had the UK been a country beholden to the euro, leaving the EU would not have been as easy. It is perhaps for this reason that the BoE is moving more rapidly towards a digital currency, particularly at a time when China appears to be ready to roll out a digital version of the yuan at any moment. If the goal is to make the pound more competitive against other major currencies, the BoE will need to act quickly and try to beat an inevitable digital euro.

In recent days, an unknown protester installed a laser projector that displayed a message alluding to digital currencies on the walls of the British Parliament and the BoE in London. Some financial analysts believe that this act of digital graffiti reflects the frustration felt by a large segment of the UK population; we are talking about people who are aware that the pound has been steadily losing value against other major currencies such as the United States dollar and the euro. This trend can be explained by the aggressive issuance of government bonds in recent years, although the BoE already has a repurchasing plan in progress.

As can be imagined, the first photograph taken of the aforementioned laser projection has been minted as a non-fungible token. The criticism is on point, but perhaps it ignores the fact that the BoE has been actively recruiting blockchain development experts to not only become advisers but also deliver a solution that can undergo live testing. With all this in mind, a digital pound is no longer such a far-fetched project.