European Central Bank Points To Privacy As Pivotal In eMoney Future

digital currency

What people want most from digital currency is privacy, the European Central Bank (ECB) said in its report from public consultations about the possibility of a central bank coin.

The ECB said that 43 percent of the respondents pointed to anonymity as a main requirement for any digital currency. People also stated that any digital euro should also be integrated with the methods and resources already being used for payments and other financial services. 

Further, citizens and businesses answering the survey indicated that they want a no-fee solution in addition to security, usability, and non-digital use. The ECB is still in the research stages of deciding whether it makes sense to pursue eCurrency. 

The public consultation — conducted from October 2020 until January of this year — is just one step in determining what will work for consumers and businesses alike. About 25 percent of respondents also said they believed that a digital euro should advance cross-border payments, and make the transactions fast, seamless, and less expensive.

The ECB is just one of many central banks worldwide looking into launching digital currency that would be on par with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin but also more usable and predictable.

Italian economist and ECB executive board member Fabio Panetta said in a statement accompanying the report said that the central bank is striving to ensure citizens’ expectations are addressed and met before moving forward. 

“A digital euro can only be successful if it meets the needs of Europeans. We will do our best to ensure that a digital euro meets the expectations of citizens highlighted in the public consultation,” Panetta said in the ECB’s press release.

Speaking at a February conference, Panetta expressed caution that a government-endorsed coin could cause financial instability if people decided to empty bank accounts due to the availability of a central bank digital currency.

Last month the ECB said that launching eCurrency could take several years if done properly but physical cash would always be an option no matter which way it goes.