European Central Bank considers launching CBDC as payment solution

The ECB is investigating the prospect of launching a central bank digital currency to improve payment solutions for the European retail market

The European Central Bank (ECB) is considering launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to act as a pan-European retail payment solution.

Benoît Cœuré, executive board member of the ECB, claimed that a CBDC could “ensure that citizens remain able to use central bank money even if electronic payments become even more popular”.

He added: “A digital currency of this sort could take a variety of forms, the benefits and costs of which the ECB and other central banks are currently investigating, being mindful of their broader consequences on financial intermediation.”

While the board member was positive about the prospect of a CBDC, he did express concerns about the global stablecoin market and how it can proliferate money laundering cases.

“Global stablecoin arrangements, for example, raise potential risks across a broad range of policy domains, such as legal certainty, investor protection, financial stability, and compliance with anti-money laundering requirements. Public authorities have made clear that the bar will be set very high for these stablecoin initiatives to be allowed to operate,” he continued.

The statement from Cœuré comes 24 hours after an official at the Central Bank of France called for the use of blockchain technology to improve the financial system.

“The tokenisation of financial assets combined with the recourse to blockchain-based solutions and more broadly distributed ledger technologies to store and transfer those assets could help answer market demands,” said Denis Beau, deputy governor of France’s central bank.

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