Europeans could soon pay in digital euros.
Europeans could soon pay in digital euros. (RICHARD VILLALON / MAXPPP)

Will we soon be able to pay in digital euros? The European Central Bank (ECB) is launching a public consultation on the creation of such a currency. A 3-month consultation, at the same time as technical tests.

The digital euro would allow everyone (households and businesses) to make daily payments quickly, easily and securely. Depending on the results of the consultation, the ECB will decide whether or not to launch this currency in the middle of next year. In reality, she wouldn’t see the light of day for three or four years.

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This digital euro would be a new cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or Libra. But then, why create it ? In fact, Facebook’s Libra, and all other alternative currencies, worry public authorities (central banks in the first place). These currencies created by the American digital giants are suspected of wanting to replace national currencies like the euro or the dollar in the long term. Not to mention the financial risks that can be posed by currencies beyond the control of regulatory authorities. Risks for example of financial instability, but also for the consumer.

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In China, the digital yuan already exists. The Chinese virtual currency has been around for two years, and it is already being used to pay officials in major cities. By doing it today, Europe will be able to catch up. But for that, we will have to convince the public of such a project. An official digital currency will not be able to replace traditional coins and banknotes overnight. We must therefore anticipate technologically and politically. Basically, this project also aims to strengthen the role and place of the euro on the international scene.



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