Central Banks

European Central Bank experts predict 5 year wait for digital euro

  • Central bank experts discussed the future of economics in an online Digital Euro event
  • ECB member told attendees that the central bank won’t even consider a digital currency until mid-2021
  • Western countries falling behind the growing competition in the East for a central bank digital currency

Central Bank Experts Discuss Digital

Expert attendees from international central banks joined the “Upgrading Money to the Digital Age: Introducing Digital Euro,” online event on Monday to discuss digitalisation of currencies and the role and impact of central banks in this new economic landscape.

They concluded discussions with the desire to fully comprehend the technicalities of a digital currency and embrace what the concept would realise in public life, before beginning any process of execution.


Expert Comments

Austėja Šostakaitė of the European Central Bank told viewers that the European Central Bank (ECB) wouldn’t consider pursuing the prospect of any form of digital currency until the summer of 2021. For now, she posed the question: “How do we introduce euro into the ecosystem and how does it collaborate with commercial bank money?”

Swedish central bank adviser, Carl Andreas Claussen shared his nations progress on the development of a proof-of-concept ‘e-krona’ currency, but sustained the same long-term launch rhetoric:

“There are some legal questions and this is such a big issue that we cannot decide on this. We need some political backing. We suggested to the parliament that they should have an expert committee looking at this.”


Bleak Horizon 

In a year where, central bank participation in the digital asset and blockchain space has been a highlighted area of growth, the anomaly of the West persists.

Over the past year we have consistently observed the nonchalant approach from major Western industrialised countries to the premise of digital assets and its underlying technology. Both the US and European Union have been passive and unaccepting to begin development in the field. It took Facebook’s avant-garde Libra project to ignite a US regulatory response last year,

Today, we reported the successful results of Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s collaborative cross-border payments initiative and last week a digital currency testing pilot soon launching in Japan. China are also making huge strides to test and develop their own digital currency.

ECB member Šostakaitė did comment on the growing level of competition: “If we see foreign CBDCs, or maybe Facebook coming into the Eurozone, that may accelerate things.”

Competition is already here and making excellent developments in the space whether that’s governments, private companies, or individuals. An apathetic four-five-year timeline, combined with little-to-no proactive initiative in research, education and infrastructure, doesn’t paint a promising horizon for the ECB’s future in this space.

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