Central banks across countries have plans to launch their central bank digital currency (CBDC). In July, the governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) launched the investigation phase of a digital euro project. The investigation phase of the digital euro project is intended to last for two years. The design will be based on users’ preferences and technical advice by merchants and intermediaries. Central banks are working on CBDCs to ward off competition from other cryptocurrencies.
A digital euro must be able to meet the needs of Europeans.
“We will engage with the European Parliament and other European decision-makers and inform them regularly about our findings. Citizens, merchants, and the payments industry will also be involved,” ECB Board Member and Chair of the High-Level Task Force on a digital euro Fabio Panetta said. According to ECB President Christine Lagarde, “Our work aims to ensure that in the digital age, citizens and firms continue to have access to the safest form of money, central bank money.” A digital euro must be able to meet the needs of Europeans while preventing financial instability and illicit activities.
Italian payment provider Nexi joins the CBDC project.
The Italian payment provider Nexi is one of the biggest payments companies in Europe and is working in collaboration with the European Central Bank to create a digital euro. Nexi offers payments services for other banks, managing 41.3 million payment cards and about 2.7 billion transactions each year. They also provide services for merchants and digital banking groups. Nexi’s position is that central bank digital currencies may be very important for the future of payments, at the same level as stablecoins.