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Digital Euro Report: Design considerations facing the European Central Bank

Internet Economy Foundation | Clark Parsons | Sep 8, 2021

Establishing a digital euro report - Digital Euro Report:  Design considerations facing the European Central BankNew Study Highlights the Key Design Choices Facing the European Central Bank and Makes Recommendations for Building an Innovation-Compatible Digital Euro

Berlin, 08. Sept., 2021 – If money is now completely programmable, how should a digital Euro be established? This is the question addressed by Establishing a Digital Euro – How to Ensure Financial Sovereignty in the Digital Realm, a new joint study published by the Internet Economy Foundation, Lakestar, Chainlink and iconomy.

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In the wake of the European Central Bank’s announcement in July 2021 that it will begin the process of developing a digital Euro, this new study explains the key design decisions that lie ahead and how each of them can potentially affect the longstanding structures of the monetary and financial systems. It also recommends important guidelines for the ECB to ensure that a digital Euro addresses Europe’s current weakness in global financial services and strengthens Europe’s booming ecosystem of innovation in FinTech, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and emerging sectors.

The policy recommendations are:
● Create the Digital Euro with a focus on European Financial Sovereignty.
● Use the Digital Euro to reinforce the position of the Euro as an international reserve currency.
● Design the Digital Euro with a wider vision for a more secure future financial system.
● Form should follow function and keep innovation at heart.
● Tailor the Digital Euro to fit the needs and realities of the European startup, scaleup and DeFi ecosystems.

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The study examines the existing structures of central banks and how the current system relates to financial service providers as well as consumers. It then depicts a pyramid of the four main design decisions that the ECB will have to make and lays out the key pros and cons of each decision. For instance, would a Digital Euro be an anonymous “token”, like a 1 Euro coin, or would it always be tied to an “account”, like the Euro that is spent with a bank Girocard? Each design decision can potentially send a digital Euro in a different direction and have a large impact on its potential usage in the innovative digital economy.

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