Objectives of the session
The highly innovative context specific to the digitalisation of commerce, provided the internet, mobile-phone, and distributed ledger technology adoption, has been requiring faster payments and accompanying ever widening choice of services often embedding or hiding payment ones.
Eventually, the short-lived Libra initiative provided a wakeup call to all incumbents (i.e., banks, payment service providers and payment infrastructures), while Central Banks have not been the less stroke at that moment, since they accelerated the so called CBDC projects.
Indeed, such a highly evolutive payment context introduces in addition to incumbent banks, and recent payment service providers, and international card schemes, powerful global players -the so-called BigTechs – as well as the many crypto-assets and stable-coins providers.
François Villeroy de Galhau, Banque de France’s Governor, recently summarised the stakes for central banks to develop digital currencies: (i) maintaining accessibility and usability of central bank money, (ii) supporting monetary sovereignty, and limiting the risk specific to “external” digital assets, (iii) supporting the strategic autonomy of the European continent.
Yet the digital-euro initiative raises a number of questions and might not be considered as a mere digitalisation of cash.
The session is therefore dedicated to reminding the objectives of the digital euro and its role in the EU retail payment strategy, clarifying the anticipated role for both the public and private sector in the EU, and providing visibility on the next steps of the initiative and its timetable.
Points of discussion
- What are the challenges faced in the EU payment land scape which are addressed by the digital euro?
- What is the role of the digital euro in the context of EU member state CBDC initiatives?
- What progress had been made by the digital euro and what are the likely next steps?