The European Central Bank (ECB) will decide by the middle of this year on whether it should start the development of a digital euro or not, the ECB's President Christine Lagarde told Bloomberg.
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Lagarde also noted if the regulator approves the project, it might take "another four years" or even more before the European Union will get its own digital currency.
"The whole process — let us be realistic about it — will in my view take another four years, maybe a little more," she said.
The ECB's head says the watchdog does not want to hurry as the digital euro represents not only a "technical endeavor," but also a fundamental change to the financial ecosystem as well.
"We owe it to the Europeans, they need to feel safe and secure," Lagarde emphasized.
At the same time, Facebook’s upcoming digital asset called Libra might pose a threat to the future of money, ECB board member Fabio Panetta said earlier at a Bundesbank-convened future of payments conference. According to Panetta, the impending revolution in payments requires watchdogs "to stand ready to reinvent sovereign money."
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