New King Charles III banknotes to go on display

Image source, Bank of England

Image caption,

People will start to see the new banknotes in circulation by the end of the year

New banknotes featuring King Charles III are to go on public display as part of a new exhibition at the Bank of England Museum.

It will be the first opportunity to see the polymer banknotes before they officially enter circulation later this year.

The exhibition will also explore themes around the future of money.

It will feature the digital pound, a digital currency issued by the Bank of England.

The bank says the Future of Money exhibition, in the City of London, will cover such subjects as digital currencies, the lifespan of cash and the impact of banking on the environment.

It says it aims to explain how money works today and how it will change in the future.

The exhibition will also explain terms like “Blockchain technology” and “cryptoassets”, such as Bitcoin, and will show the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence.

Image source, Bank of England

Image caption,

Will we have to pay the Tooth Fairy in Bitcoin in the future?

The Bank of England says that in the past 10 years, cash payments in the UK have fallen at speed, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Figures show that In 2011, 55% of payments were made in cash, and this dropped to 15% in 2021.

‘Cash extremely important’

The bank now predicts a further drop to 6% by 2031. It says, currently, there are about 70 million credit and debit card payments made in the UK every day.

Despite this, the central bank says “cash is still extremely important”.

In 2022, 1.1 million people in the UK did not hold a bank account and depended fully on cash, and, the Bank of England says, many businesses are likely to remain cash-only “well into the future”.

Jennifer Adam, curator at the Bank of England Museum, said: “The way we handle money has completely transformed in the last century, from gold and silver coins to the tap of a smartphone.

“We begin to find out about money using real cash as children – from pretend shops to being the banker when playing monopoly – but how do we learn to manage money when it’s in a digital form?

“As a starting point for information about money and understanding the economy, this is the place to visit.”

The exhibition starts on 28 February.

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