The Italian Banking Association (ABI), made up of more than 700 financial institutions, revealed that it is beginning a phase of experiments with the idea of evaluating the hypothetical issuance of a digital euro. This is a project focused especially on determining the role that banks will play in a future scenario, in which a digital currency endorsed by the European Central Bank (ECB) would be launched on the market.
In a press release, the association noted that it is working with its research and development arm, ABI Lab, with the objective of demonstrating the technical feasibility of a digital euro based on blockchain o Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), in addition to “exploring new value-added services that will be possible thanks to the programmability of the currency.”
In this way, it refers to the use of smart contracts, a computer program in which an agreement between two or more parties is registered and which is executed by an automated system.
The Italian business networking company SIA will assist the consortium in technical feasibility studies. SIA is also a contributor to Spunta, ABI’s interbank blockchain platform that announced in October the integration of more than 100 financial institutions.
While the project focuses on the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or experimental digital euro, in the statement the participation of the Banca d’Italia is not mentioned, the central bank of the Italian Republic. On the other hand, it does highlight the incorporation of some partners, such as the digital services company Reply and the business consulting giant PwC, which have made their resources available to the project, as the announcement indicates.