In an interview with the Financial Times, ECB executive board member Fabio Panetta said the introduction of the digital euro would enhance consumer privacy and protect the eurozone from the “threat” of competing currencies that could undermine the eurozone’s digital sovereignty.
“If the Central Bank deals with digital payments, then they should be well protected, because we are not private companies,” says Mr. Panetta, who is responsible for the development and implementation of the digital euro at the ECB. data “. “Of course, there is a potential threat that could come from other digital payment method creators. After all, if people want to make digital payments, and we do not give them this opportunity, then someone else will do it. ”
In an interview, the official also contrasted the digital euro, due out in the next five years, to “volatile cryptocurrencies,” such as Diem, a planned cryptocurrency from Facebook.
It was no coincidence that Mr. Panetta emphasized the point concerning the privacy of users when using digital currencies centrally issued by the authorities. In April, the ECB conducted a study on the attitude of citizens to plans to issue a digital euro, during which it turned out that more than 40% of 8.2 thousand respondents believe that a high level of protection of user data and the confidentiality of payments should be a priority in making such payments. Among the responses, there was also often a desire to use cash features in the digital euro, allowing payments to be made without an Internet connection.
The ECB says it is listening to the wishes of citizens and has already begun testing offline payments for small amounts – up to € 70-100, in which no data is transferred outside the wallets of the sender and the recipient of the payment, and the connection between these wallets is carried out via bluetooth.