The European Central Bank (ECB) has released a new report detailing their progress in the development of a digital euro. The research phase of the project, which began in 2021, is expected to continue through the end of 2022, with a decision on whether to proceed with the project scheduled for the fall of 2023.
The report outlines several potential designs and roles that the ECB and other market participants may take on in an eventual digital euro ecosystem. According to the ECB, individuals and merchants should have access to digital euros regardless of who they are, where they are from, or where their digital wallets are held.
The Eurosystem, which is composed of the ECB and the national central banks of the eurozone countries, must maintain full control over the issuance and settlement of digital euros. The report also states that organizations such as banks and payment service providers will be responsible for conducting customer and anti-money laundering checks before distributing the digital currency to end users.
The first progress report from the ECB was published in September of this year, and the development of distribution regulations is set to begin in January of 2022. The results of the investigation will be reviewed and a decision made in the fall of 2023.
Commentators are now asking whether the ECB will move forward with a digital euro in the next year. It remains to be seen whether the regulator will decide to proceed with the project or not.