Digital Euro, or the European CBDC, enters the preparation phase on November 1, 2023. The European Central Bank representatives have announced the conclusion of the two-year design and distribution investigation phase on the digital Euro.
The preparation phase will start in November and will initially last two years. It will involve finalizing the digital euro rulebook and selecting providers that could develop a digital euro platform and infrastructure.
We need to prepare our currency for the future. We envisage a digital euro as a digital form of cash that can be used for all digital payments, free of charge, and meets the highest privacy standards. It would coexist alongside physical cash, always available, leaving no one behind.Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB
As the European Central Bank announced, users could access digital euro services via their payment service provider’s proprietary app and online interface or a digital euro app provided by the Eurosystem. People without access to a bank account or digital devices could also pay with digital euros, for example, by using a card provided by a public body such as a post office. Users could exchange digital euros for cash or vice versa at cash machines.
CBDCs are highly controversial, and skeptics say they will only enslave the population even more. The main concern is that once controlled by the central governing bodies, digital currencies will offer authorities all the tools to know where and how you spend your money and limit your access to those funds if they consider it appropriate. This is why a large percentage of the population still uses cash and has decided to use cash in personal transactions.
On the other hand, the ECB tries to address these concerns by saying that the digital Euro will offer users the highest level of privacy.
We would never have access to or store your personal data, providing the highest level of privacy. It would be almost like using cash regarding privacy standards when paying offline.European Central Bank on the privacy offered by the digital Euro
China, the most advanced country in digital currency, pushed forward its CBDC when it launched the digital Yuan in 2022, called e-CNY. Transactions in this digital currency reached USD 300 billion in equivalent, the Chinese authorities announced recently, which is quite impressive.