Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, has indicated that the institution she heads could create its own cryptocurrency in the coming years, which could significantly change the monetary policy of the euro area, writes Bloomberg.
“My hunch is that it will come,” Lagarde said Thursday during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the ECB.
“If it’s cheaper, faster, more secure for the users then we should explore it. If it’s going to contribute to better monetary sovereignty, a better autonomy for the euro area, I think we should explore it.”
According to the President of the European Central Bank, it could take two to four years to launch the project, as cryptocurrency concerns about money laundering, privacy, and the technology used need to be addressed.
However, compared to other central banks, this is a very optimistic timeframe: in the same panel, both Jerome Powell, the head of the US Federal Reserve, and Andrew Bailey, the president of the Bank of England, emphasized caution.
In early October, the European Central Bank published a comprehensive report analyzing scenarios under which the introduction of the digital euro could be considered. Euro area monetary policymakers will continue with a public consultation until early January, with a decision on the project's continuation and potential launch expected in a mid-next year.
“We’re not racing to be first,” Lagarde said. “We are moving ahead diligently, not incautiously.
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