Digital Euro

Digitalisation has spread to every corner of our lives and transformed the way payments are made. In this new era, the creation of a digital euro would guarantee that citizens in the euro area can maintain free access to a simple, safe, trusted and universally accepted means of payment. A digital euro is a form of central bank money accessible to all citizens and firms, similar to cash but is only issued in a digital form. The digital euro is not meant to replace cash, but rather complement it; it will provide alternative means of payment to the consumer. Furthermore, the Eurosystem will continue to ensure that all citizens have access to euro cash across the euro area. More information on the concept of digital euro can be found here.

In October 2020, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a report on digital euro where it examined the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). In July 2021, the Governing Council of the ECB decided to launch an investigation phase of a digital euro project. In October 2021 a two-year investigation phase was launched, which is expected to be concluded around October 2023. The aim of this investigation phase is to analyse different digital euro designs and distribution models, as well as look at the impact that a digital euro might have on the market. Following this, the ECB Governing Council will decide whether a digital euro is to be developed.