The European Central Bank is developing the implementation of a digital euro
The European Central Bank is developing the implementation of a digital euro, while banknotes will remain in circulation as long as they are in demand, stated Fabio Panetta, a member of the ECB Executive Board.
To ensure the compatibility of the digital euro with other CBDC variants, the ECB is actively collaborating with central banks from other countries.
Panetta emphasized that the ECB will not engage in the distribution of CBDC, and citizens will not have accounts in central banks. However, it is planned to set a limit of €3000 on digital euro accounts.
Currently, the ECB is developing a phased implementation of the digital euro in the Eurozone, starting with online payments for goods and transfers of funds between users within the Eurozone.
Ensuring the digital euro is widely available and easy to use
There is currently no single European digital means of payment that is universally accepted across the entire euro area. It therefore comes as no surprise that Europeans see the ability to pay anywhere as the most important feature of a potential digital euro. In other words, they are keen for one of the key characteristics of euro banknotes to be replicated in the digital realm.
At the ECB, we have been investigating the technical solutions that would enable people to easily make payments in digital euro, anywhere in the euro area. But if we want the digital euro to replicate these cash-like features, we need a proper regulatory framework.
Ensuring wide availability through the right economic incentives
Economic incentives should be used to encourage the active distribution of the digital euro and to ensure that it is widely available. We have already proposed a set of four core principles for a digital euro compensation model.
You asked for more details on these principles in previous hearings, so I will share our thoughts on them now. Ultimately, however, the decision on the regulatory framework for fees is primarily a matter for you, as European legislators.
The first principle is that, as a public good, the digital euro should serve society. We believe consumers should be able to use it free of charge for basic day-to-day purposes.
Second, intermediaries should be compensated for the services they provide, just like they are for other digital payments.