In a four-part podcast series, Alexander Bechtel and Manuel Klein explain how the euro can be "digitized", which different forms the digital euro can take, and what hurdles must be overcome to make the digital euro a reality. Terms such as fiat money, central bank reserves, (synthetic) CBDC, stablecoins, the e-money token as well as tokenized commercial bank money will be defined and differentiated from each other. Look forward to four exciting episodes about the money system of the future. We help you to be able to participate in in-depth-discussions on the exciting topic of digital money.
In the second episode of the four-part series on the digital Euro, Alexander Bechtel and Manuel Klein discuss the different forms of a public sector digital euro - better known as Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Many people think of a CBDC first and foremost when they think of a digital euro, not least because the ECB also uses this vocabulary in its communication on a CBDC. This is reason enough to take a closer look at this type of the digital euro.
In the third episode of the four-part series on the digital Euro, Alexander Bechtel and Manuel Klein discuss the different forms of a private sector digital euro. The central question of this episode is whether the private sector will continue to generate and provide the bulk of the money supply in the future - just as commercial banks already do today. At the latest since the strong media attention around the joint project Diem (formerly Libra) launched by Facebook, so-called "stablecoins" issued by private companies which represent the USD or EUR on a blockchain are all over the news. But what exactly are these stablecoins? What forms do they take and which of them would be suitable to be used as a scaleable euro-denominated means of payment in the real economy?
In the fourth and final episode of the four-part series on the digital Euro, Alexander Bechtel and Manuel Klein address the crucial question of why the euro should be digitized and which institution will ultimately provide it. After a detailed analysis of the existing money system in the first episode, as well as a description of the digital euro issued by the public and private sector in the second and third episode, the last episode provides an outlook into the future and presents concrete use cases of the different forms of the digital Euro. The goal of the episode is to understand which benefits a Digital Euro will bring, which institutions will provide it for which purposes, and when we will see the Digital Euro.
In this Episode, we focus on the digital euro project and address the following questions:
The Digital Euro Association (DEA) webinar series “private sector and the digital euro” will continue with a webinar on stablecoins. As of the end of May 2021, stablecoin supply exceeds $100 billion in market value according to data from The Block. This substantial development in the stablecoin market is primarily driven by the significant global demand for digital assets in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) space. While stablecoins are in the spotlight, debates around their stability, resiliency, risk, and compliance with existing regulations in financial markets are currently being shaped. However, the stablecoin market is dominated by US stablecoin providers – euro stablecoins lag behind. Further, as central banks consider issuing their own digital currencies – central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) – dynamics and interlinkages between stablecoins and CBDCs are now remarkably explored.
Today, cross-border payment systems are far from being frictionless and efficient. According to data by the World Bank, for cross-border payments, on average, more than 7% transaction fees are charged. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) have the potential to improve these international payment processes in various ways. At this point, standardization, harmonization and interoperability between domestic payment systems with possible different payment arrangements become strikingly important. A committed cooperation to build a bridge between multi-currency cross-border payments through an enhanced financial infrastructure with the design principles supporting privacy, security, fairness, efficiency, inclusivity, and legal compliance would bring about a promising solution. Additionally, international implications of CBDCs need to be further studied as CBDCs could impact exchange rates, international capital flows, and, in general, also the supremacy of specific currencies.
Digital payment solutions constitute an important strategic building block in Europe’s quest for digital competitiveness and strategic autonomy. Various European institutions have increased their efforts to modernize the payment infrastructures in Europe, including the Digital Finance Package by the European Commission and the inquiry into a digital euro by the European Central Bank (ECB). However, in particular, the private sector is at the forefront of analyzing the impact of a digital Euro, e.g., in this context, a digital euro based on distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Most of the central banks around the world consider issuing a CBDC mainly as a consequence of the declining use of cash as a means of payment and to position themselves against increased competition from novel forms of private sector-issued money such as cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. In most jurisdictions, CBDC design requirements and design principles are currently being analyzed and discussed. A consultation by the European Central Bank (ECB) revealed that privacy seems to be the most important requirement for a CBDC for European citizens. Privacy of transaction data is important for ensuring the security of the data and fair pricing, and avoiding data exploitation, amongst others. Therefore, a high degree of data privacy while complying with regulations such as anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism seems to be desirable for a CBDC.