United Kingdom CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

Economic Information

Monetary Base


Cash Issued




Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


The United Kingdom is currently in the research phase. The Bank of England’s official statement said, “The Government and the Bank of England have not yet made a decision on whether to introduce a CBDC in the UK, and will engage widely with stakeholders on the benefits, risks and practicalities of doing so.” With respect to engagement, the Bank of England has since published both a discussion paper and a technical paper to explore various CBDC designs. However, while these may only seem exploratory, it’s important to note that the Bank of England also said, “the Bank of England and HM Treasury judge there is likely to be a future need for, and benefits from, a digital pound.”

Although at a relatively early stage, the Bank of England has outlined some initial plans. A 2023 consultation paper from the Bank of England said that a digital pound would require individuals to verify their identity, accounts to have capacity limits, and varying levels of programmability. The Bank of England received over 50,000 responses from the public—primarily due to concerns about privacy, programmability, and the decline of cash.

Government officials have also spoken out against the idea of a CBDC in the United Kingdom. Mervyn King, member of the House of Lords, has said that there was no apparent need for a wholesale CBDC and more broadly that there were no problems where a CBDC was the only answer. George Bridges, another member of the House of Lords, similarly said, “We have to be very clear about what problem we are trying to solve before we get carried away with the technology and the idea.”

According to Freedom House and other reports, the United Kingdom ranks highly across nearly all metrics—earning a 93 out of 100 in the 2023 Freedom in the World report. Even then, however, it’s important to recognize that the creation of a CBDC could open the door to risks to financial privacy and financial freedom.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.