IT-industry association Bitkom: „Europe needs the digital euro“

At the end of the European Central Bank’s consultation period on a digital euro, the IT industry association Bitkom has reiterated calls for a digital euro.

In a statement issued on 10 January, the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom) called for the early launch of geographically limited pilot projects for a digital euro.
Bitkom calls for rapid trials

The statement published by Bitkom refers to the consultation period of the European Central Bank (ECB) on the topic, which expired on 12 January.

In the opinion of the digital association Bitkom, „the most important thing now is to move quickly from theory to practice“, it writes. Patrick Hansen, head of the Bitcoin Bank platform blockchain division at Bitkom, calls for the rapid launch of „pilot projects limited in time and space“ in order to be able to „develop the optimal technical infrastructure for a digital euro“ with the experience gained.

„Europe must not be left behind when it comes to digital currencies. We must increase the pace if we want to catch up with the lead that others already have,“ Hansen warns, referring to tests with a digital yuan that have been running in China for some time.

A digital euro as a central bank digital currency (CBCD) should, in his view, „not replace the existing financial sector, but complement it“ and „be compatible with the existing financial infrastructure“. The issuance of the digital euro should therefore „most efficiently take place via commercial banks and other financial intermediaries“.

At the same time, however, Bitkom urges that „a digital euro must be accessible to all and, for example, offline payments should also be possible with it“. Further positions on the topic of the digital euro can be viewed in a detailed statement on the European Central Bank’s consultation on the digital euro published by Bitkom, as well as in the info paper „Digital Euro on the Blockchain“ published by Bitkom.

ECB consultation since October 2020

The European Central Bank had launched a public consultation on a possible digital euro on 12 October to gather the views of citizens, businesses, NGOs, trade unions and academic organisations.

Bitkom has been calling for a trial of digital central bank money in the euro area for some time. In its info paper „Digital Euro on the Blockchain“ published in April 2020, Bitkom already warned then that Europe risked losing out in an international race for CBCDs.

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