On 12 July 2022, the ECB published an article covering the main objectives of the digital euro. The following points regarding the crypto industry were included:
- People are increasingly paying digitally instead of with cash. For instance, cash cannot be used in e-commerce, and many physical stores also prefer cashless payments. Moreover, during the pandemic, online and contactless payments surged. All in all, this situation entails the following risks:
- Cash is used less and less, hence public money could ultimately lose its role as the monetary anchor in Europe as people’s trust that private money can always be converted into central bank money could be jeopardized;
- A digital payments ecosystem without a strong monetary anchor would create confusion about what qualifies as money. Crypto-assets, for example, cannot guarantee one-to-one convertibility with central bank money. They are not an efficient means of payment, especially if their value is not backed by any asset.
- As a consequence, the ECB launched the digital euro project one year ago. The rationale behind is that a digital euro would complement cash by allowing central bank money to also be used in digital form. This would expand the availability of digital central bank money beyond its current use to also include everyone’s daily payments.
The digital euro needs to respond to the needs of its users, have associated protection of privacy of the highest standard and be a means of payment, instead of a form of investment.