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"The digital euro will not be a crypto asset, but money issued by the ECB free of risk"

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There is little doubt that the digital euro will soon be a reality. The same president of the organization, Christine Lagarde has placed its launch date around 2025, while some experts advance it to 2024. For now, the European Central Bank (ECB) is immersed in a research phase expected to end in 2023 During which it must face the challenge of making this new money format that competes with other central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and that does not endanger the entire industry of the banking system's intermediaries.

Despite the challenges that remain to be resolved in this 'formal investigation phase', the ECB expects this preparation period to last much less than the ten years it took to prepare the analog version of the euro.

However, there are many implications inherent to the introduction of a digital euro that, "If it is misconceived, it could have serious consequences", advises Thibault Gobert, sales executive at Spectrum Markets. The expert believes that it is very likely that the ECB will act very cautious with regard to the part of the payment operations that the digital euro can take with respect to the non-digital euro or with regard to the maximum funds that an individual you can have in an account. In fact, the expert underlines that “a centralized approach based on accounts provided directly to retail clients by the Eurosystem would not be smart, since would significantly disrupt the business of commercial banks”.

To take into account these particularities, the ECB has published a set of basic principles and general requirements and specific for each scenario. In addition to assigning it the status of central bank currency convertible at par, the ECB is committed to the neutrality of the digital euro market. It has also made the equitable accessibility of the digital euro throughout the euro zone a basic principle.

General and scenario-specific requirements, which have yet to be discussed, include cash-like features (for example, allowing offline payment and inclusion), competitive features (making digital currency attractive enough), as well as requirements for your resistance, safety, cost and ecological efficiencya and measures that prevent it from becoming an investment vehicle rather than a means of payment. "The technology infrastructure solution that the ECB ultimately chooses will also depend on other factors," says Gobert.

On the other hand, the Spectrum Markets analyst also emphasizes that “the digital euro will not be a crypto asset, since it is not a token nor does it constitute electronic money issued by supervised private entities ”. “The ECB describes the digital euro as a form of money issued by the central bank free of risk, a digital representation of cash issued exclusively by the ECB and the national central banks, and that it will always remain under their responsibility ”, says the executive.

"This underscores the fundamental differentiation," continues the analyst. “Crypto assets are a digital representation of a security or right that can be transmitted and stored electronically based on the use of distributed ledger technology (" blockchain "). Therefore, the digital euro is not a token nor does it constitute electronic money issued by supervised private entities”, He concludes.

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