ECB to reach digital euro decision early next year

13 Nov 2020

European Central Bank (ECB) president, Christine Lagarde has stated that the bank should come to a decision on releasing a digital euro in early 2021.

Within an online policy panel on Thursday, Lagarde said that the European Central Bank was not “racing to be first” to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

However, she added that the results of the consultation launched by the central bank last month in regard to a digital euro would be ready in January next year, Cointelegraph reports.

Lagarde said: “At that point in time we will make the decision as to whether or not we go forward with the digital euro,” stated Lagarde. “My hunch — but this is a decision that will be taken collectively — is that we might well go in that direction.”

The president of the ECB said the bank still had to look into various concerns before making a final decision on a CBDC, such as user privacy and anti-money laundering.

Lagarde referred to examples including Facebook’s Libra token and China’s recent digital yuan trials as reasons why a rollout cannot be hurried: “This is a project that will probably take us two, three, four years before it is launched.”

Also included on the panel were Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey. 

Powell said that it was “critical that we get it right as opposed to trying to be the first,” whilst the Bank of England governor advised the panel that people had the right to “expect certainty of value” in any currency.
Furthermore, Lagarde has reiterated her support of a digital euro since she headed up the International Monetary Fund, even though the ECB has not reached an official decision on a CBDC.
In addition, the central bank launched a public consultation recently to receive feedback from users on their digital euro expectations.