European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde says the regulator initiates public consultations on the issuance of a digital euro.
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Lagarde says the European Union should be ready to launch a digital euro"if needed."
"As Europeans are increasingly turning to digital in the ways they spend, save and invest, we should be prepared to issue a digital euro, if needed. I’m also keen to hear your views on it," Lagarde says.
Lagarde notes the ECB is only studying the possibility of launching a digital euro and final decision on this matter has not been made so far:
"We have just launched a public consultation so that consumers and Europeans can actually express their preference and tell us whether they would be happy to use a digital euro just in the way they use a euro coin or a euro banknote knowing that it is central bank money that is available and that they can rely upon."
In particular, the survey participants are asked to answer what services, functions and areas of application seem appropriate for a digital euro and should be considered in the process of its development.
In October, Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, said there are many scenarios where usage of a digital euro could be beneficial.
According to Panetta, digital currencies could be vital if people would become reluctant to use cash or other electronic payment methods could become unavailable "owing to natural disasters."
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