It’s the festive season again; that time of the year where love is celebrated through the acts of giving. However, for some people, the concept of presenting gifts might be a little too complex to understand. These people don’t believe in sending gifts to their loved ones, they rather send money or gift cards that can be used to make purchases online. This has become incredibly easy in the past few years.
If you receive money as a gift at Christmas, what’s your favourite way to get it?
— Bank of England (@bankofengland) December 17, 2018
Earlier this week, the Bank of England (BoE) published a poll on Twitter, asking its followers on their preferred means of receiving money gifts at Christmas. The poll reads:
If you receive money as a gift this Christmas, what’s your favorite way to get it?
There were a number of options that users could choose from in the poll including Cash, Bank transfer, Gift voucher, Digital currency. At press time, digital currency is leading the poll with 70%.
Although it seems like a simple way to get a conversation going, this tweet could also have a lot of hidden meaning to it. UK’s financial regulators are yet to develop a definitive stand on cryptocurrencies, leading to speculation that the tweet is a clandestine way through which the BoE is looking to measure public interest in cryptocurrencies, which is quite logical now that the market downturn has stripped the major digital currencies off their value.
While the BoE sits on the fence, its leadership has been making significant moves to regulate the sector and integrate blockchain into its system. Mark Carney, Governor of the BoE, noted in a panel that even though, plans aren’t imminent, and cryptocurrencies don’t currently perform the role of money in the British economy, he remains open to the prospect of a Central Bank-issued digital currency. The statement of the Governor might not be a glowing endorsement, but it is a far cry from his previous dismissal of Bitcoin, where he stated that it has failed as both a primary currency and as a store of value.
The bank also executed an overhaul of its settlement system, allowing both traditional private systems and those based on the distributed ledger to interface with the bank’s network. Carney had noted at the time:
“RTGS is being re-built so that new private payment systems, including those using a distributed ledger, can simply plug into our system. Our new, hard infrastructure will be future-proofed to your imaginations, opening up a range of potential innovations in wholesale markets, and corporate banking and retail services.”