(RoyalPatriot.com )- Merchants within the EU’s eurozone may be required to accept the European Central Bank’s digital currency, Reclaim the Net reported.
The European Central Bank is currently reviewing the benefits and costs of establishing its own digital currency, though it has not yet reached a formal decision.
On Monday, finance ministers from the eurozone, the 20 EU member countries that have adopted the euro, are expected to meet to discuss making the EU’s central bank digital currency legal tender.
Earlier this month, EU Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness told the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum that the European Central Bank is reviewing design and technical issues before making the final decision on a digital currency.
However, for the EU central bank to issue a digital currency, regulations from the EU Parliament and the European Council would be required.
Bloomberg reported last week that EU Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that while a digital euro can play a key role in safeguarding the EU’s payment autonomy and providing a sovereign, safe, and universally-available digital currency, it will never entirely replace cash.
While addressing the Bank for International Settlements’ virtual panel on central bank digital currencies, Lagarde explained that the current trend is to move away from cash to more digital payments as digital currency tends to be “safe,” “sovereign,” and “available to all” at any time and place.
At the same time, Lagarde conceded that a digital euro would not offer the same privacy and anonymity as cash. “Which is why cash will always be around,” Lagarde added.
The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, said it will present proposals for the legal framework for an EU Central Bank digital currency by the end of June 2023. The final decision to proceed with a digital euro is expected later, Bloomberg reported.