ECB President Christine Lagarde announced an ECB survey of public opinion regarding the issuance of a digital euro.
We’ve started exploring the possibility of launching a digital euro. As Europeans are increasingly turning to digital in the ways they spend, save and invest, we should be prepared to issue a digital euro, if needed. I’m also keen to hear your views on it https://t.co/0ZuU2ZZgCp pic.twitter.com/CoY5sN7Yoz— Christine Lagarde (@Lagarde) November 1, 2020
“Tell us if you would be happy to use the digital euro”
The survey will be conducted as part of a study of the feasibility of issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
“We have launched a public consultation so that Europeans can express their preferences and tell us if they would be happy to use the digital euro, knowing that it is ECB money to rely on,” Lagarde said.
To take the survey, you will need to register with the country of residence. In addition to the EU Member States, the drop-down list contains the option “other”.
Recall that at the end of September, the ECB lawyers sent an application for registration of the “digital euro” trademark.
In early October, the working group published a report on the possible release of a new means of payment, and a number of central banks decided on the main requirements for CBDC.
Commenting on the initiative, Christine Lagarde said CBDC will complement and not replace cash.
Why is the ECB eyeing a digital euro?
The covid-19 pandemic has amplified calls for electronic payments as customers avoid notes and coins over fears they might contract the disease. Even in Germany, where cash is said to be king, consumers are expected to spend more money this year by card than in cash for the first time.
The ECB, like other central banks around the world, is also wary of falling behind digital currency issued by foreign private players like Bitcoin and Facebook’s yet-to-be-launched Libra.
If Europeans were to switch en masse to digital currencies that operate outside the ECB’s reach, it could affect the effectiveness of its monetary policy measures.
Meanwhile, Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has said that the digital yuan, the country’s ongoing digital yuan pilot program has been going smoothly so far.
Think we missed something? Let us know in the comment section below.