The European Central Bank will on Monday launch a public consultation and start experiments to help it decide whether to create a “digital euro” for the 19-nation currency club.
The move comes as the pandemic accelerates a shift away from cash, and as policymakers nervously eye the rise of private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.Here’s an explainer of what a “digital euro” would mean for the region’s citizens.
– What is a digital euro? –
A digital, or virtual, euro would be an electronic version of euro notes and coins, it would be legal tender and guaranteed by the European Central Bank.
It would also for the first time allow individuals to have deposits directly with the ECB. This could be safer than with commercial banks, which could go bust, or than holding cash that could be stolen or lost.