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EU Consultation Looks at Digital Euro Issues
Jack Schickler - CoinDesk
2022-04-05 13:03
A digital euro could need wide-ranging laws in areas such as privacy and anti-money laundering the European commission said in a consultation published on Tuesday.
The call for ideas, seen as the first step towards Brussels legislation on the topic, is being made even before any formal decision has been taken to issue the currency in a new format.
The consultation, which is open until May 3, asks questions about issues like ease of use, availability, fees, standards, and the caps on holdings needed to safeguard financial stability. The digital euro could be used by EU residents, tourists, or trade partners, the consultation said. The document is the likely precursor to draft laws that could come out early next year.
It sets out ideas on how the design could protect privacy, even allowing anonymity between the transacting parties or their banks. Privacy emerged as the top issue in a European Central Bank consultation on the topic last year and remains a source of controversy.
The ECB is currently investigating details of how the plan might work, in a phase which will last until September 2023. An ECB presentation given to finance ministers on Monday set out a range of ways to protect privacy, a topic that topped a previous survey of people’s concerns about the new tech.
In a statement on Tuesday, national ministers from within the bloc – keen not to be usurped by the ECB on matters of public policy – said that new laws would be needed to underpin the measure, and said the digital currency should not seek to replace regular banknotes and coins.
Starting in June, EU finance ministers will discuss further knotty issues such as the impact on financial stability, and the role of private banks or payment firms in distributing the technology.
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