The European Central Bank (ECB) reported today its preparation to issue a digital euro, to complement the current banknotes. For the member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Fabio Panetta, this measure would be applied when necessary.
Major central banks around the world are studying digital versions of their currencies to address the demand for electronic means of payment and fend off competition from private currencies such as Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra.
In a study published last week, the ECB said a digital euro could help when citizens abandon cash, foreign forms of electronic money take over the market or other means of payment are not available.
Panetta pointed out the need to be prepared to issue a digital euro if events make it necessary. The ECB was given until the middle of next year to decide whether to go ahead with the project.