Work on ECB digital currency under way

November 09, 2019

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BRUSSELS: Progress on the feasibility of a digital currency backed by the European Central Bank could be made in the coming months, senior officials said on Friday, cautioning that the project faced challenges and was for the long term.

Plans for a European public digital currency have begun emerging after social media giant Facebook announced in June its blueprint for Libra, a private digital currency, which spooked regulators who have since raised concerns and said Facebook’s project could be banned.

A public cryptocurrency would represent an alternative to Libra and other private projects, and could reduce costs of international transactions, which EU officials see as too high.

Acknowledging it would take time to develop a European public version of Libra, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told a news conference in Brussels: “The fact that it is for the long term does not prevent us from working and having results next year.”

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2019