ECB launches digital euro project

The pilot plan will begin with the research phase in order to provide a more secure currency by 2025

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced today the launch of a two-year pilot project to introduce the digital euro in the long term. The plan will start with the research phase that aims to “supply a coin in its safest form.” According to the statement released by the institution.

The Frankfurt-based entity approved the project, more important since the launch of the euro, in response to the growing dematerialization of payments and the multiplication of cryptocurrencies.

The project includes the evaluation and testing phases and if all goes well, the digital euro may be ready around 2025 to join the means of payment available to Europeans.

The ECB is aware of the boom  of virtual payments and that it has developed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Germany, one of the countries where cash handling is usual, payments by card also increased in 2020, registering for the first time a raise in this payment method.

Recently, the German finance minister, Olaf Scholz, pointed out that a “sovereign Europe needs innovative and competitive payment solutions. But the most important goal will be to persuade consumers to switch to a new means of payment that does not differ much from existing ones in terms of treatment and range of services,” according to Heike Mai, an economist at Deutsche Bank.

Additionally, the ECB also guarantees quick, easy and safe use when paying in a supermarket or online using a mobile phone application. Many countries are working on virtual money. In fact, China has been testing payment with e-yuan by mobile phone since last March. Similarly, both the US and China are working on issuing their own cryptocurrencies.



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