The President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde said the bank should take a decision on introducing a digital euro early next year.
In a policy panel held online on November 12, Lagarde stated that the European Central Bank (ECB) it was not “competitive to be the first” in its efforts to issue a central bank digital currency, or CBDC for its acronym in English. However, he said the results of the public consultation the central bank launched last October on a digital euro would be available by January 2021.
“At this point we will decide whether we want to introduce the digital euro or not”, Lagarde explained. “My guess, but this is a decision that is being made together, is that we could go in that direction.”
The ECB President said the bank had no doubts when it was time to make a final decision on a CBDC. In particular, he said that The ECB would consider anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures and focus on protecting users’ privacy.
Lagarde has cited Facebook’s Libra token and recent tests of the digital yuan in China as examples of why the central bank shouldn’t start in a hurry. Give a rough estimate of the time it would take if the ECB decided to proceed:
“This is a project that will probably take two, three, four years to get started.”
The Chairman of the Federal Reserve also spoke on the panel Jerome Powell and the Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey. Powell reiterated his position on the CDBC, stating that it was “Basic to getting it right instead of trying to be the first.” The governor of the Bank of England advised the panel on this People had the right to expect “certainty about the value” of any digital currency.
Lagarde has repeatedly expressed support for a digital euro since her tenure as head of the International Monetary Fund, although the ECB has not yet made an official decision on a CBDC. The central bank recently opened a public consultation to get feedback from users on what to expect from a digital euro.