The European Commission (EC) is planning to introduce a bill that will outline a plan for the implementation of the digital euro.
An experiment to develop a digital euro is already undergoing in the central bank. The bill should arrive in 2023 as per the report of the Commission’s finance chief Mairead McGuinness.
The commissioner said that the EC’s goal is to table a proposal in “early 2023”. In preparation, the Commission is already planning a targeted legislative consultation that will begin in the “coming weeks”.
This comes in the broader context of the European Central Bank (ECB) already working on the systems and designs that would be needed to implement a digital currency in the Eurozone.
The digital euro would be designated as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), similar to those that have been developed in other jurisdictions.
Both South Korea and China are working on their own versions. China is currently trialing the e-yuan at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
One of the biggest motivators in seeking to implement an ECB-backed digital currency is that private companies may seek to step in and act if the bank proves too lethargic.
“If we don’t satisfy this demand, then others will do it”, said ECB executive board member Fabio Panetta.
The public may prove too resistant to the full transfer towards digital payments. While the current financial model promotes digital payments over cash, a CBDC may disproportionately tilt the balance in favor of digital payments.
Ultimately, it is the ECB’s Governing Council that will decide on whether a digital euro can be allowed to exist, and it would be the central bank itself that issues it.
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