European Central Bank to decide on digital euro in early 2021

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Christine Lagarde wants to decide on the digital euro in January 2021.

Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), calls on the leading European financial institution to take a decision on the „digital euro“ by the beginning of next year.

In an online conference on monetary policy on 12 November, Lagarde said that the ECB had not yet entered the „race“ to issue its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). However, she also stated in this context that the study commissioned on the digital euro would be completed as early as January 2021.

„At that point, we will make a decision on whether we want the digital euro or not,“ Lagarde announced wholeheartedly. She added: „My feeling is that, apart from that, it is and will remain a Community decision, and that we will choose it“.

However, the ECB President sees some concerns that need to be addressed before the final decision can be taken. Above all, the European Central Bank’s Chief Executive sees money laundering, terrorist financing and data protection as important issues that must be reconciled with its own digital currency.

Lagarde refers to the planned Facebook crypto-currency Libra and the Chinese government’s digital yuan as examples of a rush to issue, which she herself would like to avoid. Accordingly, she tries to make a realistic estimate of the time frame:

„This is a project that will probably take us two, three or even four years.
The online conference was also attended by Jerome Powell and Andrew Bailey, the heads of the US and UK central banks. Powell reiterated his view that „it is important that we get it right, not that we are the first“. Bailey of the Bank of England again stressed that consumers have a right to find some „value“ in a currency.

Translated with (free version)