UK government is on the hunt for CBDC lead for its Treasury team

  • The government of the United Kingdom is looking for a central bank digital currency lead for the Treasury team to drive the digital currency and blockchain landscape in the UK.
  • The position has attracted many observations from lawmakers and industry leaders alike.

In an effort to build and launch the Digital Pound, His Majesty’s Treasury and HM Treasury have called for applicants to fill the role of “Head of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Project.”

In a job posted to LinkedIn on 24 January, HM Treasury stated it is looking for a team lead for its payment and fintech operations to manage a team of 20 with a focus on developing a Digital Pound. According to the posting, the team lead would determine the “strategic direction” of the CBDC project and “Work closely with a wide array of stakeholders including other teams across the Treasury, the Bank of England, Cabinet Office, No10, wider government, financial services regulators, industry, and other relevant stakeholders”.

The job posting further said: “The Treasury and Bank of England have committed to consulting jointly on a potential digital pound, and the successful candidate will lead the Treasury team in the wake of the consultation’s issuance, including working with the Bank of England to consider consultation responses.”

Earlier this month, the economy secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffin, told MPs that the government is considering introducing a Digital Pound. “The UK was committed to becoming a world crypto hub,” said Griffin. In a meeting with the Treasury Select Committee, he announced that a public consultation on the attributes of the digital pound would be launched in the coming weeks.

Referring to the EU’s stance on CBDCs, which has recently set out the world’s first comprehensive set of rules for regulating crypto markets, Mr. Griffin said the UK cryptocurrency rules could be broader, to include decentralised finance, and that everyone would benefit from greater transparency.

Many lawmakers in the UK have made some bitter observations – on the introduction of the CBDC/Digital Pound. Former senior advisor to the Bank of England, Tony Yates, has warned against the use-case of CBDCs in a January interview, calling it “not worth the costs and risks”. The current governor of England’s central bank Andrew Bailey has also expressed some sharp concerns about the question of a digital pound.

The U.K. went through some turbulent times last year – a number of leadership changes, including having three prime ministers within a matter of months and the Queen passing away in September 2022. However, lawmakers continue to debate issues related to digital asset regulation and enforcement.

At the time of publication, over 40 people had applied for the CBDC position at the Treasury.