ECB Weighs Up Digital Currency
An outgoing executive board member of the European Central Bank has opened the door towards a eurozone electronic currency, echoing calls made by Mark Carney in August. In a press speech in Brussels, Benoit Coeure stated the importance of central banks to examine the creation of their own digital currencies:
“The ECB will also continue to monitor how new technologies change payment behaviour in the euro area... a central bank digital currency could ensure that citizens remain able to use central bank money even if cash is eventually no longer used.”
This could be a reaction to Facebook’s attempt to issue their own virtual currency. His compatriot, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, had made his concerns around Facebook’s plan known at the G7 summit in August. Central banks around the world such as the Bank of England, the Swedish Riksbank and the People’s Bank of China are all officially exploring the possibility of issuing their own respective central bank digital currencies.
Mr Coeure also marked the current steps taken towards fiscal integration in the eurozone and implicitly called for further integration:
“Europe [sic] has made important progress towards a true banking union in recent years... Step by step, we are improving our financial structures to support a single market of half a billion consumers, underpin the stability of our single currency and channel savings towards financing sustainable growth.”
All these quotes are echoes of previous statements made by worldwide policymakers. The same concerns around the future of cash in this drive for central bank digital currency remain as well as the greater centralisation around unaccountable bureaucracies. Gold has been relatively stable over the last week in terms of its price in Euros; It is currently trading at €1322.20 per troy ounce at the time of writing, which is a drop of just €2.20 over the week.
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A full transcript of Mr Coeure's speech can be found here.