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European Central Bank (ECB) approved the investigation of the digital euro

By Joy Dumasia

July 16, 2021

  • Europe
  • European
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European Payments Initiative welcomes acquirersThe Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has decided today to launch the investigation phase of a digital euro project. Following the decision, the President of the Eurogroup Paschal Donohoe joined the meeting, congratulated the Governing Council and expressed his full support for the project.

The investigation phase will last 24 months and aim to address key issues regarding design and distribution. 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. This will not prejudge any future decision on the possible issuance of a digital euro, which will come only later. In any event, a digital euro would complement cash, not replace it.

The project will also shed light on the changes to the EU legislative framework that might be needed and discussed with, and decided by, European co-legislators. The ECB will continue to engage with the European Parliament and other European policymakers throughout the project’s investigation phase.

The investigation phase will assess the possible impact of a digital euro on the market, identifying the design options to ensure privacy and avoid risks for euro area citizens, intermediaries and the overall economy. It will also define a business model for supervised intermediaries within the digital euro ecosystem.

ECB President Christine Lagarde says: “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. 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”.

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