In her Nov. 1 tweet, Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, has announced the launch of a public consultation on a digital euro.
Lagarde adds that Europeans will be able to express their preference regarding the central bank digital currency:
“As Europeans are increasingly turning to digital in the ways they spend, save and invest, we should be prepared to issue a digital euro, if needed. I’m also keen to hear your views on it.”
Lagarde’s pivot to a digital euro
Another takeaway from Lagarde is that ECB only “started exploring the possibility” of issuing its own CBDC, meaning that a digital euro is only in the stage of inception.
Lagarde is still more open to the idea than her predecessor Mario Draghi. As reported by U.Today, the Italian economist — who had been at the helm of the ECB from 2011 to 2019 — was very dismissive about a digital euro back in 2018, claiming that it wouldn’t come anytime soon.
In January, Lagarde expressed her desire to play an active role in the digitalization of payments:
“We are looking into the feasibility and merits of a central bank digital currency that would ensure that people can continue to use central bank money even if the use of physical cash eventually declines.”
Last month, the central bank revealed that it was “very seriously” considering the launch of a CBDC.
With China already testing its DCEP digital currency, western counties seem to be moving at a snail’s pace.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, however, believes that doing it right is more important than doing it first.
The litany of countries exploring CBDCs continues to grow, with the Bank of Russia launching a public consultation on a digital ruble in late October.