ECB's Lagarde Predicts Digital Euro Launch in Minimum 2 Years
The President of the European Central Bank addressed concerns surrounding the development of a digital euro, emphasizing that it is unlikely to materialize for at least another two years. She aimed to dispel potential privacy fears associated with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and stressed the importance of finding a balance between privacy and transparency.
Key decisions regarding the CBDC's progress are slated to be made by the ECB in the coming weeks. However, skepticism among members of the European Parliament, who hold the authority to approve such plans, remains prevalent.
ECB President Christine Lagarde stated:
"It’s not until later in October that the [ECB] Governing Council will decide whether we can move ahead with more piloting of the project. The pilot will probably take us another two years, at least, before it’s the final say."
Lagarde also addressed prevailing concerns of government surveillance and potential infringements on privacy rights. She emphasized that the digital euro must offer privacy while maintaining a degree of transparency. Additionally, it should be accessible, cost-free, and universally available.
ECB Board Member Fabio Panetta has previously affirmed that no decision regarding issuance will be made until lawmakers and member governments of the EU agree on legislation outlining privacy measures for the CBDC. Concerns, particularly related to privacy, continue to be raised.
German centrist lawmaker Nicola Beer raised a pertinent question regarding privacy concerns, especially in the context of transaction and holding limits, as well as the necessity for identification leading to complete traceability. This is part of the ECB's strategy to combat money laundering and prevent large CBDC holdings from disrupting the commercial banking system.
Last month, it was announced that Germany's Stefan Berger, an architect of the EU's crypto licensing law MiCA, will oversee the passage of the digital euro law through the European Parliament.
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