“The creation of the digital euro should take its place in the European electoral campaign”

dSince the pandemic, we have used fewer and fewer traditional banknotes issued by the European Central Bank (ECB) to pay for our purchases. To partially regain control of the continent’s payment system, the ECB is campaigning for the creation of a digital euro, a project that must be voted on on April 22 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The apparent change would be small for the general public. Like today, we would still use a credit card or smartphone to pay at the checkout. But, in reality, an entire mechanism would be transformed. Amounts spent in e-euro would no longer be withdrawn from accounts in private banks. This digital money would be managed directly by the ECB, like banknotes and coins, with specific individual accounts.

We can easily imagine the reluctance of deposit banks that continually increase the money deposited in checking accounts, often without paying any interest to their customers. If the electronic euro were created alongside the regular euro, banks would be deprived of part of their activities and profits. The banking sector is therefore striving for as low a limit as possible for potential individual electronic wallets.

In many countries

On the other hand, emerging financial technology companies, fintechs, may have a lot to gain from this large-scale project. Central bank electronic currencies are already being developed in many countries. In China, the e-yuan is almost in force. In India, the central bank is developing the e rupee. Mastery of these technologies could constitute an important competitive advantage.

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In the United States, the electronic dollar project is on the table and is on the front page of the newspapers. Trump is absolutely against it, Biden, rather in favor. But in Europe, which politicians speak out on the issue, for or against? Almost none. Although the digital euro project is taking shape, there are working groups working at the ECB since July 2021 and the European Parliament is about to adopt a legislative framework, curiously the general public is not, at all, associated with the debate .

However, it deserves sustained attention.

The ECB highlights the advantages of the digital euro, in particular the strengthening of European sovereignty compared to other powers in the process of adopting these currencies. This electronic euro would also make transactions faster and cheaper than bank transfers. International payments would be almost free.

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