The European Central Bank (ECB) has decided to start the investigation phase of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) project.
The investigation phase is expected to last for 24 months, focusing on tackling key issues surrounding design and distribution.
It is crucial for a digital euro to meet the needs of Europeans, while also preventing illicit activities and avoiding negative impact on financial stability and monetary policy. The bank stated that a digital euro is a complement to cash, not a replacement.
We will engage with the European Parliament and other European decision-makers and inform them regularly about our findings. Citizens, merchants and the payments industry will also be involved.
Fabio Panetta, ECB Board Member and Chair of the High-Level Task Force
A research by ECB last year found that the usage of cash has dropped since 2019, with the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerating the long-term decline.