Curiosity and positive expectation can be sensed between the lines, as the European Commission and central bank ECB make a short joint statement: that the ECB “will consider” whether to start a digital euro project towards the middle of this year.
“Following the conclusion of the public consultation on 12 January 2021 and a period of preparatory work, the ECB will consider whether to start a digital euro project towards mid-2021,” the two EU bodies write in their five-sentence statement published Tuesday.
“The ECB and the European Commission services are jointly reviewing at technical level a broad range of policy, legal and technical questions emerging from a possible introduction of a digital euro,” they add.
While non-committing, the statement strums a major chord: “The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) are pursuing their efforts towards ensuring a strong and vibrant European digital finance sector and a well-integrated payments sector to respond to new payment needs in Europe. Taking account of digitalisation, rapid changes in the payments landscape and the emergence of crypto-assets the ECB is exploring the possibility of issuing a digital euro, as a complement to cash and payment solutions supplied by the private sector.”