‘’The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has decided to launch the research phase of a project exploring the digital euro. It is expected to take 24 months’’.
The next stage in a long journey
There has already been speculation for many months about the possibility of a digital euro. Potential research, exploratory and implementation work is expected to take up to the next 4 years. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has announced that it is entering the research phase in close cooperation with the European Parliament and the European Commission. This is to include identifying and solving design and distribution issues. The ECB announced that it will focus on making the digital euro result as functional and user-driven as possible. This phase is expected to include various forms of research, which will include focus groups, prototyping, and conceptualization. In a statement issued by the ECB, we can read that the digital euro is intended to respond to the needs of Europeans and at the same time prevent any kind of illegal activity. It is important to note, however, that although this is an exploratory phase, the outcome of this research will not be decisive in determining whether or not the digital euro will be put into circulation. Nevertheless, the concept seems promising, as ECB President Christine Lagarde emphasizes in a statement that reads:
“Nine months have passed since the publication of our report on the digital euro. During this time, we have conducted further analysis, asked citizens and professionals, and conducted several experiments with encouraging results. All this prompted us to decide to kick into high gear and start work on the digital euro project.”
Believing the above information, we can assume that even though the ECB is keeping a cool head about the launch of its digital currency, its presence in the wallets of Europeans is only a matter of time.
Can the digital euro compete with Bitcoin?
There have been increasing discussions in the blockchain community recently about the potential competition that CBDCs could pose to Bitcoin. They are intensifying in connection with events in China, where the process of introducing the digital yuan coincides with the push of Bitcoin outside the country. For now, however, the European Union is not standing up to cryptocurrencies. There are, however, proposals for new regulations that worry the public gathered around the crypto world. While CBDCs have, until recently, generated positive excitement and increased confidence in central banks, that sentiment is sagging amid fears of excessive scrutiny. Developers of central bank digital currencies deny that CBDCs are in competition with BTC. Bitcoin supporters, however, are increasingly voicing their concerns about the future.