Home Economy The euro zone is leading the way in testing a digital currency...

The euro zone is leading the way in testing a digital currency country


Just a few years ago, the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) was seen as something strange. Sweden’s Riksbank is one of the high-income countries to explore it, a fact that is attributed to its very low cash-usage population.

Now official cryptocurrencies are the mainstream. Every big player is considering it: Kristalina Georgieva, IMF executive director, to speak Last week that “after a long period of development, the field is on the cusp of big changes”. China is testing the digital yuan, Sweden has completed a technical and pilot pilot Bahamas has just introduced The world’s first CBDC.

Previously hesitant, the eurozone moved forward. Last week European Central Bank has published the answers until a completed community consultation, which is itself a sequel to a concept paper their task force published in October. Fabio Panetta, a member of the executive committee, attended one hearing in the European Parliament. This puts the ECB one step ahead of its key counterparts in engaging the public. UK Government Launched the task force “britcoin” on Monday and the Bank of England invited a comment recent discussion posts. Federal Reserve is look at CBDC technology even though it is have not consulted Public.

There’s no mistake about the severity that all central banks are currently examining whether to offer a digital currency equivalent to official cash. Silvana Tenreyro, member of BoE Monetary Policy Committee, have shown that the pandemic-induced shift to online shopping “greatly increases the cost of using cash”. The demand for digital payments only seems to increase. At the same time, central banks are wary of going beyond what the public and political leaders are willing to do.

ECB’s public participation reveals conflicting considerations that they must navigate. One is a trade-off between privacy and functionality. China’s watchdog may welcome the financial review of the people a digital yuan will provide, but the ECB sees that privacy is everyone’s top priority. digital euro. However, Europe’s sabotage of money laundering rules and corruption is not worth arguing. Completely anonymous not on the table.

Another complex group involves non-residents’ use of cryptocurrencies. “The EU has ambitions for a euro that is much more widely used outside of the euro zone,” said Maria Demertzis, deputy director of consultancy Bruegel. “The fear” – in her view – is that China’s digitization is designed to make the country’s currency more attractive.

The central banks of wealthy nations wanted to emphasize that their crypto projects were collaborative, not competitive. However, no one wants to see their currency replaced by private currencies beyond their control, let alone other central banks. During the hearing, parliamentarians told Panetta how a euro would interact with non-euro economies, how it could make the euro more attractive on the international stage, and whether Will it be made available to Northern Ireland?

There are also possible advantages in industrial policy behind the talk of cooperation. UK special forces charged with “screen[ing] developing international CBDCs to ensure the UK is at the forefront of global innovation ”. To evaluate from the ECB consultation, a particularly desirable innovation that the digital euro can facilitate is “programmability” – integrated capabilities for automated and contractual transactions. “clever”.

Then there is concern that CBDCs may undermine commercial banks. If everyone had a digital euro when deposited in the ECB, “you would enter into a very large segment of the banking sector,” Demertzis said.

Above all, the EU is an exception. It embodies high-flying ambitions for digital privacy and the global reach of currency, while also relying more on banks than on other economies. If the ECB invites the public to review the CBDC earlier than the other major central banks, it may reflect that it is even more struggling to garner support for it.

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