Digital euro could be ready in four years, ECB official says

European Union’s digital currency could be operational by 2026, according to a senior board member of the ECB.

Euro notes

Fabio Panetta, a senior member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), said that the European Union was hard at work on the bloc’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), also known as the digital euro. Speaking at the National College of Ireland, Panetta expressed hope that the first P2P transactions could be performed within the next four years.

“Public money must keep its role as a monetary anchor in the digital era,” Panetta said, envisioning a digital currency that would allow for “making daily digital payments across the euro area, just like cash for physical transactions.”

The bloc’s digital currency is facing delay after delay due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Panetta stopped short of offering any specific timeline.

The ongoing crypto crash demonstrates that “it is an illusion to believe that private instruments can act as money,” Panetta said, underscoring his rejection of the idea of decentralized cryptocurrencies. In another recent speech at Columbia University, Panetta delivered a scorching criticism of the entire crypto sector, calling it “a new Wild West.”