ECB ‘moves up a gear’ in starting digital euro project

The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced today (14 July) that it will commence a 24-month investigation phase regarding the implementation of a digital euro.

This investigation phase will aim to address key issues regarding design and distribution.

The ECB says a digital euro must be able to meet the needs of Europeans while at the same time helping to prevent illicit activities and avoiding any undesirable impact on financial stability and monetary policy.

The organisation has highlighted that any implemented digital currency will complement cash rather than replace it.

“It has been nine months since we published our report on a digital euro. In that time, we have carried out further analysis, sought input from citizens and professionals, and conducted some experiments, with encouraging results. All of this has led us to decide to move up a gear and start the digital euro project,” said ECB president Christine Lagarde.

“Our work aims to ensure that in the digital age citizens and firms continue to have access to the safest form of money, central bank money.”

The investigation will involve focus groups, prototyping and conceptual work. The ECB wants to establish the uses of a digital euro to create a riskless, accessible and efficient form of digital central bank money.

The ECB and national central banks in the Eurozone have carried out preliminary experimental work over the past nine months, which has involved participants from academia and the private sector.

Experiments focused on four main areas: the digital euro ...

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