Updated 30 Apr, 2021

Europeans’ Views on Digital Currencies, ECB Asks

 

digital currencies

 

Key Takeaways:

  • ECB conducts a public survey on a digital euro
  • Participants return “encouraging” results

Public survey shows positive views of public

The European Central Bank consulted the public on digital currencies. The survey was done focusing on a digital euro. The bank has been exploring currencies lately. This was done with the intention to create its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). The central bank gathered the views of over 8,200 Europeans on whether to launch a digital euro.

Everything was gathered in a research paper, called Eurosystem report on the public consultation on a digital euro.  Most of the participants want a privacy-respecting CBDC. On the other hand, about 50% of them think the blockchain technology should be used to avoid counterfeiting and technical issues.

“Privacy is considered the most important feature of a digital euro by both citizens and professionals participating in the consultation”. Those surveyed said that this was especially the case for merchants and other companies (often self-employed professionals).

“Citizens participating in the consultation consistently opt for privacy, security, usability throughout the euro area, absence of additional costs and usability offline,” the report stated.

The potential challenges as listed by the public

One challenge pointed out by those surveyed was “poor internet connectivity in some areas”. Others say that privacy and simplicity could be a challenge. The results of the survey, according to the official ECB Twitter account are “encouraging”. This was because participants put “privacy, security and broad usability” among the highest priorities.

Board member Fabio Panetta confirmed that a possible digital euro that will meet the expectations of Europeans. He said that a digital euro can only be successful if it meets the needs and expectations of European citizens”. Panetta stated this during his speech at the ECON Committee of the European Parliament.

The public consultation launched on October 12, 2020 and closed on 12 January, 2021. The goal was to grasp public’s view before the Governing Council decides in mid-2021 whether to initiate a digital euro project.

Recently, the European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that the central bank is investigating options to offer a digital euro. Ms. Lagarde mentioned that if the bank decided to launch a CBDC, it will take about four years before it could be used by people.

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