At the end of the European Central Bank’s consultation period on a digital euro, the IT industry association Bitkom reaffirmed its demands for a digital euro.
The German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media ( Bitkom ) issued a statement on January 10th calling for spatially limited pilot projects for a digital euro to be launched soon .
Bitkom demands rapid testing
The opinion published by Bitkom refers to the consultation period of the European Central Bank ( ECB ) on the subject that expired on January 12th .
According to the digital association Bitkom, “the main thing now is to get from theory to practice quickly,” he writes. Patrick Hansen, Head of Blockchain at Bitkom, calls for the rapid start of “temporally and spatially limited pilot projects” in order to be able to use the experience gained to “develop the optimal technical infrastructure for a digital euro”.
“ Europe must not be left behind when it comes to digital currencies. We have to increase the pace if we want to catch up with the lead that others already have, ”warns Hansen, referring to tests with a digital yuan that have been going on in China for some time .
A digital euro as a digital central bank currency ( CBCD ) should “not replace the existing financial sector, but complement it” and “be compatible with the existing financial infrastructure”. The output of the digital euro should therefore “most efficiently take place via commercial banks and other financial intermediaries”.
At the same time, Bitkom urges “that a digital euro must be accessible to everyone and, for example, offline payments should also be made possible with it”. Further positions on the subject of the digital euro can be viewed in a detailed statement published by Bitkom on the consultation of the European Central Bank on the digital euro, as well as in the information paper “Digital euro on the blockchain” published by Bitkom .
Consultation with the ECB since October 2020
The European Central Bank launched a public consultation on a possible digital euro on October 12th in order to gather opinions from citizens, companies, NGOs, trade unions and academic organizations
Bitkom has long been calling for digital central bank money to be tested in the euro area. In its information paper “Digital Euro on the Blockchain” published in April 2020 , Bitkom warned at the time that Europe was in danger of falling behind in an international race for CBCDs.