ECB will make the decision on releasing a digital euro early next year, Christine Lagarde says

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) said on a virtual panel Thursday that the bank should reach a decision on releasing a digital euro in January 2021.

Christine Lagarde

“At that point in time we will make the decision as to whether or not we go forward with the digital euro. My hunch — but this is a decision that will be taken collectively — is that we might well go in that direction.” Christine Lagarde said.

The ECB president said a digital euro would take extensive time to develop, including not just the underlying technology but anti-money-laundering controls and prevention of terrorism financing. She noted that China’s central bank has been working on a digital version of its yuan for several years.

“This is a project that will probably take us two, three, four years before it is launched.” Lagarde said Thursday.

As AZCoin News reported, the ECB recently opened a public consultation to get feedback from users on what they expect from a digital euro.

Back in January, Lagarde expressed her desire to play an active role in the digitalization of payments: “We are looking into the feasibility and merits of a central bank digital currency that would ensure that people can continue to use central bank money even if the use of physical cash eventually declines.”

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