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The Eurosystem has launched the investigation phase for the digital euro

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Published: 15 December 2021

De ECB in Frankfurt met het eurologo in het midden

Following the successful completion of the experimental phase, the ECB’s Governing Council has decided to launch the two-year investigation phase from 1 October 2021. In cooperation with the ECB we are actively contributing to the development of the digital euro.

The investigation phase will take two years

In these two years, the main questions about design and distribution will have to be answered. The investigation phase explores the use cases that a digital euro should provide and which of these must be prioritised so that the digital currency becomes what it needs to be: a riskless, accessible and efficient form of digital central bank money. In the investigation phase, the Eurosystem will focus on a possible functional design based on users’ needs. It will look at the payment options the digital euro should offer, how the digital euro can be made available and what its business model could be. This phase also includes determining how the design and implementation rules of the digital euro can prevent financial stability risks and safeguard the privacy of users.

No decision has not yet been taken on the possible introduction of a digital euro

This decision will be taken later. In any case, the digital euro is a complement to cash, not a substitute for it. The investigation phase will also identify the areas in which the EU legislative framework may need to be amended. The ECB will continue to engage with the European Parliament and other European policymakers throughout the investigation phase.

DNB and the other European central banks are closely involved in the investigation phase

In addition, the central banks will communicate with the relevant national stakeholders.