ECB member expects digital euro in three to four years

A European Central Bank’s (ECB) executive board member, Fabio Panetta, set a deadline of three to four years for the launch of the digital euro on the bank’s 25th anniversary.

Panetta told Les Echos in an interview that 50 people are working on the digital euro project and “are studying the design of the digital euro, its distribution, and its impact on the financial sector.”

Moreover, after preparing a legislative proposal in June this year, the Governing Council would start a test phase for the central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to the bank’s executive board member, “this phase could last two or three years.”

“To safeguard financial stability, we need to keep central bank money at the heart of the financial system.”

Fabio Panetta speaking on the need for a CBDC

He added that the ECB won’t access personal data while they prevent “money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Furthermore, Panetta said that the ECB will only develop the digital euro but the distribution part needs to be done by other banks as the central bank doesn’t “have any expertise in dealing with customers, and it would not make sense for us to enter into this business.”

Panetta’s claims come just eight days after the European Union (EU) gave the green light to the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill, first proposed three years earlier. He previously said that the digital euro is not meant to replace the banknotes as long as cash’s demanded.

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