Digital Euro Will Balance Privacy, Anti-Money Laundering Concerns, Finance Ministers Say

A new digital euro will offer more privacy for smaller transactions — though full anonymity is still apparently off the table, Coindesk wrote Monday (April 4).

The officials announced as much after a meeting of European Union (EU) finance ministers from the currency bloc.

There haven’t been any formal decisions on whether to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), though the EU is looking into how to tie payment innovations to the anti-money laundering (AML) rules, which will apply to the digital euro as well as private cryptos.

The ministers have said any new format for the euro should accommodate privacy concerns, according to Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

He said the new rules will be “counteracting the use of digital euros for unwarranted purposes.”

“A risk-based approach could be followed allowing for more privacy for less risky and smaller transactions and vice versa,” said Donohoe, who chairs the ministerial meetings known as the Eurogroup.

According to the report, the European Commission will be consulted on any legislation that might be needed to support the new digital euro. However, the commission was warned that an unduly centralized system could aid spying and constitute “troubling” mass surveillance, the report noted.

Read more: With AML Proposal, ECB Gives Digital Euro Leg up on Bitcoin Payments

PYMNTS wrote that the EU lawmakers have also proposed an AML regime, which would help out the digital euro in the payments industry.

The law would require identification and screening for any crypto or stablecoin transaction, regardless of price.

On Wednesday, March 30, the European Central Bank (ECB) unveiled a proposal that would exempt users of its CBDC from AML checks for smaller transactions.

Fabio Panetta, a prominent ECB executive board member, spearheading the crypto initiatives, said that a digital euro “would provide people with a level of privacy equal to or higher than that of private digital solutions.”