A European Central Bank (ECB) official has said the forthcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC) tests at the ECB do not guarantee the eventual launch of a digital euro, in a statement that will dampen rampant speculation around the bank’s proposals. Central banks across countries are actively working on digital currencies to ward off competition for private and decentralized cryptocurrencies.
ECB has not decided on whether to go on with a digital euro or not.
Advisor to the Market Infrastructure and Payments arm at the ECB, Jürgen Schaaf, said the test phase was very much a trial for the technology and that the bank would experiment with the digital currency during this period to determine whether to roll out its CBDC more widely eventually. “This is still not a decision to introduce or issue a digital euro. After these phases, we will have to assess properly whether the potential benefits outweigh the possible disadvantages and then take a profound decision,” Schaaf said.
China presses ahead with its own plans for a digital currency.
The comment comes as China moves ahead with its own plans for a national digital currency, with multiple regional tests already proven successful in deploying the digital currency in retail settings. According to reports, as many as 80 countries are now reported to be exploring a central bank digital currency of their own, accounting for over 95% of global GDP. ECB President Christine Lagarde previously said Europe had fallen behind in the global digital currencies and payments race. However, Schaaf maintained that it was important to take the time to make sure the technology and its implementation were done properly.