The European Central Bank says it will finalise the the overall design of a digital euro in the second half of next year as it publishes its second progress report on the project.
details a second set of design and distribution options that were recently endorsed by the ECB's Governing Council and describes:
- the role of intermediaries, responsible for the onboarding of end-users, anti-money laundering checks and consumer-facing services, such as payment initiation solutions;
- the settlement model, which defines who will settle online or offline transactions;
- the way in which funding and defunding will take place to allow users to convert cash and money from a bank account into digital euro;
- the distribution model. A digital euro scheme is envisaged since it is best suited to guaranteeing that all euro area citizens can pay and be paid in digital euro.
The central bank says it will assess a further number of design and distributions options before presenting a full report to the Governing Council later next year.
The ECB says the Governing Council will review the outcome of the investigation phase in autumn 2023 and decide whether to proceed to a realisation phase.
Should the project get the green light, EU citizens are unlikely to get their hands on a digital euro until 2026 at the earliest.