The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that the digital euro is not related to programmable money, which is to say currency for which spending rules are laid down upon issuance. “The digital euro is NOT programmable money,” reads a presentation published by the regulator of a new form of European currency.
Digital national currencies are being developed by the central banks of many countries. The fact that this money can have programmed restrictions on its use has been talked about for a long time.
This feature of digital money is putting off potential users. According to the ECB document, the preservation of privacy will be embedded in the digital euro by default. The ECB will not have information about people’s funds, transaction history or payment behaviours, the presentation said.
User data will only be available to intermediaries (private banks) to comply with regulatory requirements. Offline, the digital euro will be able to provide a level of privacy similar to cash.
The authors of the report argue that the issuance of a digital euro will strengthen the strategic autonomy of the Eurozone, increasing its independence from non-European payment solutions. It is also designed to increase economic efficiency by limiting abuse on the market.
The implementation phase of the project could begin as soon as this autumn. The decision to issue a digital euro will not be taken before 2024.