ECB Looking For Experts For Digital Euro Design

March 21, 2022
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The European Central Bank (ECB) is looking for technology experts to investigate the design of a potential eurozone central bank digital currency.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is looking for technology experts to investigate the design of a potential eurozone central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The experts will take part in online technical talks to explore design elements with a focus on settlement validation and transaction recording.

Members of the ECB’s digital euro project team will discuss several ways to achieve geographical distribution of data centres and clarity on amounts held by users and explore how large transaction volumes can be processed under specific constraints and different trust models.

The technology experts will take part in online technical talks that will comprise a presentation lasting approximately 20 minutes, followed by around 25 minutes for questions and answers.

The ECB announced the launch of the investigation phase of the digital euro project last July, in part to address the declining use of cash and in response to the growing adoption of private digital currencies that could pose risks to European users in terms of privacy, safety and accessibility.

The investigation phase will last two years and aims to address key issues regarding the design and distribution of a digital euro and builds on nine-month preliminary experimentation carried out by the ECB and eurozone national central banks.

The central bank said at the time that the investigation will explore four areas, including the digital euro ledger, privacy and money laundering control, limits on digital euros in circulation, and offline access to support financial inclusion.

The central bank maintains that the decision to investigate a eurozone CBDC “doesn’t mean that we will necessarily issue a digital euro, but rather that we will get ready to possibly issue it”.

“In concrete terms, this means that we will commit the resources necessary to design a marketable product. But a decision about whether or not to issue a digital euro will only come at a later stage,” said Fabio Panetta, member of the executive board of the ECB.

Nonetheless, the project has raised concerns among members of the European Parliament about the democratic processes surrounding the ECB’s decision to create a digital euro, with some ECB officials saying it is better for the ECB to concentrate on interest rates instead of capping the number of digital euros that citizens can hold.

Central banks around the world are in a race to explore the possibility of a CBDC, with Nigeria and the Bahamas already having launched their digital fiat. China, the second-largest economy in the world, is planning to launch its digital yuan later this year, and central banks in other large countries such as India, Mexico and Brazil have also recently announced their decision to issue a digital currency.

The EU and the United States, however, have taken a more cautious approach to the exploration of a CBDC, with some fearing they could fall behind in the digital payments race.

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