Italian Banks Want to Test Digital Euro

Many European central banks are actively testing digital euro.

With the increasing interest of European monetary regulators in central bank digital currency (CBDC), Italy has become the latest to propose for digital euro.

In a Thursday’s announcement, the Italian Banking Association (ABI) has approved the official guidelines for the launch of a digital euro.

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This followed the banking association’s appointment of a working group last year to study and research digital and crypto assets. ABI has over 700 Italian banks as its members.

In the latest guidelines, the banking association has proposed ten essential criteria to issue the digital version of the euro.

The ABI stressed that digital euro need to be fully compliant with the European regulator’s monetary guidelines. This, according to the association, will establish citizens’ trust in the digital currency.

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The announcement also revealed that the ABI is already operating a distributed ledger infrastructure under its Spunta project. This project was instituted by the association to speed up the transaction speed within the member banks using blockchain.

The ABI described the CBDC as an “instrument that more than any other can reconcile the needs of innovation, in line with the current reference framework of rules, existing instruments, and interoperability with the analog world (translated from Italian).”

Central banks’ interest in digital currencies

As tech giants like Facebook are pushing to introduce digital currencies, the worries of the central banks heightened due to the threats to the monetary system from the private players.

Most recently, the French central bank had trialed a version of digital euro in partnership with a private investment bank and has plans to expand its efforts with other players as well while the Dutch central bank wants to lead the efforts of Europe’s digital currency.

Out of the eurozone, Sweden also launched a pilot program to test e-krone, the digital version of its fiat.

Meanwhile, the Chinese central bank is ahead of all and has already launched a pilot program for state employees in four provinces.

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