The European Central Bank has decided to launch a digital euro

The European Central Bank has decided to launch a digital euro

The ECB has given itself two years to investigate all aspects of a digital currency and make it available to all citizens

Christine Lagarde, president of the ECB (John Thys / Afp / Getty Images) Twenty-four months to resolving the main issues of planning and distribution, security, financial stability and monetary policy: this is the time frame given to itself by the European Central Bank, which has opened a formal study phase on the digital euro. The decision of the Governing Council came on Wednesday, on the basis of a report published in October, a public consultation that collected ideas from citizens and professionals and nine months of work by the first experimental groups, consisting of central banks in the euro area, universities and private. Nine months of "encouraging results", explains Christine Lagarde, president of Eurotower: "All this convinced us to change gear and launch the project for a digital euro. Our work aims to ensure that citizens and companies continue to have access to the safest form of money, that of the central bank ”.

The experimental work carried out so far has concerned the digital register of the euro, the privacy and anti-money laundering systems, the limits on the digital euro in circulation, the access of user without internet connection and easy use through the use of appropriate devices. The experiments also suggested that architectures consisting of centralized and decentralized elements are possible. Both the pan-European Tips platform for real-time settlement of instant payments and alternative ones such as the blockchain have been able to process over 40,000 transactions per second.

The new focus groups will have to prototype and analyze use cases, evaluate the impact on the market, identify project options to ensure confidentiality and avoid risks for citizens, intermediaries and the economy in general. The investigation phase just started will also define a business model for supervised entities in the digital euro ecosystem, while a group of consultants will adopt the point of view of users and distributors, discussing with the European Retail Payments Council. The infrastructure would require less energy consumption than that of other cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin.

The exploration phase will not prejudice the final decision, which may require regulatory changes by the European Parliament. In any case, the digital euro will be complementary to cash, without completely replacing it. The president of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe has expressed his full support for the project launched by the ECB.

The other major world powers are moving differently on the issue of stablecoins. China continues with field experiments: in June it announced a new 40 million renminbi (yuan) digital lottery, equal to 6.2 million dollars that citizens will be able to receive through two banking apps. The Fed, the central bank of the United States, is still in the study phase for a stablecoin linked to the dollar: a "white paper" is expected at the beginning of September, explained President Jerome Powell speaking Wednesday to the financial services committee in the House of Representatives. . A small state like El Salvador, on the other hand, has chosen a completely opposite path: alongside the dollar it has given legal tender to bitcoin.

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Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies Europe Finance Digital payments globalData.fldTopic = "Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Europe, Finance, Digital Payments "

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