Fabio Panetta, a member of the European Central Bank’s executive board, has set a deadline of three to four years for the introduction of the digital euro, coinciding with the bank’s 25th anniversary.
In an interview with Les Echos, Panetta revealed that a team of 50 individuals is currently working on the digital euro project, focusing on its design, distribution, and potential impact on the financial sector. The team is diligently studying these aspects to ensure a comprehensive understanding.
Following the preparation of a legislative proposal in June of this year, the ECB’s Governing Council will initiate a testing phase for the central bank digital currency (CBDC). Panetta stated that this phase could span two to three years, allowing for a thorough evaluation of the digital euro’s functionalities.
Regarding data privacy, Panetta assured that the ECB will not access personal data, while also emphasizing their commitment to combatting money laundering and terrorist financing.
Furthermore, Panetta clarified that while the ECB will develop the digital euro, the distribution aspect will be handled by other banks. The central bank recognizes that it lacks expertise in customer relations, making it more practical for other financial institutions to handle this aspect.
Panetta’s remarks come shortly after the European Union granted approval to the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill, which was initially proposed three years ago. He reiterated that the digital euro is not intended to replace physical banknotes as long as there is a demand for cash.
The ECB’s efforts to develop a digital euro reflect the evolving landscape of digital currencies and their potential to reshape financial systems. With the projected timeline, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the realization of a digital euro in the near future.