A research unit set up by the Bank is investigating the possible introduction of a crypto-currency linked to sterling.
If approved, a virtual currency issued by the bank would pave the way for a revolutionary shake up of high street banking.
A Bank of England-issued digital currency would potentially allow British citizens to keep their money – in digital form – with the central bank itself, dispensing with the need for a retail bank. Big-ticket transactions, such as buying a house, could happen in nanoseconds.
The research unit was set up in February 2015 and, according to a Bank of England spokesman, could report back within the next 12 months.
The Bank has been trialling technology for digital transactions, using the same technology that underpins Bitcoins and other…