The European Central Bank has received a record of over 8000 responses to its consultation on the creation of a digital euro, an electronic form of central bank money accessible to all citizens and firms.
The public consultation was launched on 12 October 2020, following the publication of the Eurosystem report on a digital euro.
An initial analysis of raw data shows that privacy of payments ranked highest among the requested features of a potential digital euro (41% of replies), followed by security (17%) and pan-European reach (10%).
“The high number of responses to our survey shows the great interest of Europe’s citizens and firms in shaping the vision of a digital euro,” said Fabio Panetta, member of the ECB’s Executive Board and chair of the task force on a digital euro. “The opinions of citizens, businesses and all stakeholders are of utmost importance for us as we assess which use cases a digital euro might best serve.”
The Eurosystem task force, bringing together experts from the ECB and 19 national central banks of the euro area, identified possible scenarios that would require the issuance of a digital euro. These include an increased demand for electronic payments in the euro area, a significant decline in the use of cash as a means of payment, the launch of global private means of payment like Gacebook's diem, and a broad take-up of central bank digital currencies issued by other central banks.
The ECB says it will publish a comprehensive analysis of the public consultation in the spring, "which will serve as an important input for the ECB’s Governing Council when deciding whether to launch a digital euro project".