The British government is formally examining the benefits and feasibility of using electronic currencies (e-currencies) such as Bitcoin, as thousands are turning their backs on traditional forms of finance.
It is estimated around 20,000 Brits currently own Bitcoin. According to the Treasury, around £60 million worth of the digital currency is circulating in the UK economy.
The actual figure is likely to be higher, as the e-currency is often used to buy contraband items in the “dark web” – an area of the internet inaccessible to UK authorities.
The Treasury consultation, called “Digital currencies: Call for information,” says it wants to determine how e-currencies are being used, and whether it should be regulated by the government in the future.