No, the U.K. government is not planning to eliminate all forms of cash in the next three years.

By: Vivek J
April 17 2023

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No, the U.K. government is not planning to eliminate all forms of cash in the next three years.


The Verdict False

The U.K. government is not replacing fiat currency with CBDC. Cash and CBDCs will be in use together.

Claim ID 4916560e


A video has been widely shared on social media platforms claiming that a "Cashless society will cost your freedom." The video, which tries to mimic a BBC news broadcast, is over 15 minutes long and explains scenarios that could lead to a cashless society and eventually end in the UK government completely controlling people's lives. The video also claims that the government plans on completely replacing cash with Central Bank Digital Currency in the UK. This video is shared to make people believe that cashless societies are intended to take away people's freedom. However, these claims made using the video are incorrect and baseless. 

In Fact

The Bank of England and the HM Treasury jointly announced the creation of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) task force to coordinate the exploration of a U.K. CBDC on April 19, 2021. The then Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (now Prime Minister) also announced the same and later in October 2021, the G7 group of nations including the U.K. published a set of principles for retail CBDC. The Bank of England, on its website page dedicated to CBDC, has referred to it as a new type of money issued by the BOE for everyone to use fro day-to-day transactions. It also noted that CBDC may also be referred to as “digital sterling” or “britcoin.” 

On October 14, 2021, Mr. Sunak appeared in a video shared by the HM Treasury on Twitter and announced the plans by the G7 finance ministers to explore the option of using CBDC in the retail market. In this video, Mr. Sunak pointed out that CBDCs could be used alongside physical notes and coins. It is worth noting that neither the U.K. government nor the G7 had planned to completely remove fiat currency or liquid cash from the market. A publication on the U.K. government website about the G7's plans has noted that CBDC is meant to exist alongside the physical notes and coins. 

Furthermore, the Bank of England has also announced on its website that this CBDC is meant to "exist alongside cash and bank deposits rather than replacing them." There have been no reports of plans by the U.K. government to completely phase out physical cash and coins, as shown in the viral video. Thus, it is evident that claims about governments replacing cash completely are baseless and not backed by facts. 

On February 7, 2023, a publication on the U.K. government website titled "The digital pound: A new form of money for households and businesses?" also reiterates that 

digital currency is meant to exist alongside physical cash and not replace it entirely.

This viral video implies that digital currencies are part of a purported longer plan by governments to take away people's freedom. The video is not that of a real news broadcast and is intended to create panic among the masses by showing fictitious narratives.

Ever since plans to explore a potential CBDC were announced, there were numerous narratives circulating on social media linking CBDCs to a purported malicious plan to enslave people and control their lives, linking CBDCs to known conspiracy theories like the New World Order and the Great Reset. Such unwarranted narratives have been debunked by factcheckers time and again. 

The verdict

A video has been shared on social media to show the adverse effects of CBDCs and the purported malicious intent behind their introduction. This video shows an example of the U.K. government's plan to introduce CBDC, along with some fictitious narratives, and advises people not to accept a cashless society. No governments, including the one in the U.K., plan on completely removing physical cash from the system as claimed in the video. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before