The European Central Bank (ECB) today said it is working with the European Commission in experiments to consider the merits of minting a ‘digital euro’. However, the regulator was keen to emphasize that it has not yet decided to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Following the conclusion of the public consultation on 12 January and a period of preparatory work, the Eurosystem will decide whether to pursue a formal CBDC project towards mid-2021.
“Such a project would answer key design and technical questions and provide the ECB with the necessary tools to stand ready to issue a digital euro if such a decision is taken. The ECB and the European Commission services are jointly reviewing at technical level a broad range of policy, legal and technical questions emerging from a possible introduction of a digital euro, taking into account their respective mandates and independence provided for in the Treaties,” it said.
The central bank said it identified two trends in global payments, one is the increasing consumer preference for digital payments, and the other is the competition to dominate payments on a global scale.