Following the conclusion of a two-year study phase, the European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council declared on October 18 that it will proceed to the next stage of the digital euro project. The preparation phase, which includes finalising the digital euro regulations, choosing technology providers, and testing, is scheduled to start on November 1 and initially last two years.
When the planning phase is finished at the end of 2025, the ECB intends to make a decision about the issuance of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This choice won’t be made until the completion of the EU legislative procedure, which might drag into the next year. Whether or not a digital euro is introduced will eventually be decided by the EU Parliament and Council.
The suggested digital euro would function as a digital type of money and permit solitary offline transactions. It would be widely available, cost nothing for basic use, and provide the highest levels of anonymity. In order to ensure that no one is left behind, ECB President Christine Lagarde emphasised that the digital and physical forms of the euro would coexist. Users would have access to digital euro services via banks or a “Eurosystem” app; individuals without bank accounts may use a card from a government agency like the post office.
The Bank for International Settlements, the central banks of France, Singapore, and Switzerland earlier this month announced the accomplishment of Project Mariana, a new CBDC effort. With the exception of Nigeria, 11 nations have implemented CBDCs, the majority of which are located in the Caribbean. A CBDC is still opposed by a number of US lawmakers, who claim that it will undermine financial privacy and facilitate state surveillance.