One step closer to the digital euro

07/14/2021 / Press release

At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB gave the go-ahead for the investigation phase of the digital euro project, which will last two years. Its findings will lay an important foundation for the final decision on whether to issue a digital euro. Banka Slovenije is also strengthening its activities in this area in the wake of today’s decision.

Digitalisation has had a profound impact on financial services and payments in recent years, and central banks are actively responding to this change. The last few years have seen us focus increasingly on research and development in connection with central bank digital currencies, which might well constitute the next step in the evolution of money.

Over the last two years the ECB has been developing its digital euro project, for a riskless form of central bank money tailor-made for the digital age.

At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB gave the go-ahead for the next step, the launch of the investigation phase of the digital euro project. This step does not yet mean that a digital euro is certain to be issued. The decision will only be taken by the Eurosystem on the basis of the findings of the investigation phase.

The investigation phase will encompass:
- deciding on the attributes and functionalities of the digital euro, taking account of the expectations and requirements of the public,
- investigating the possibilities for integrating the digital euro into the existing financial environment,
- drawing up the legislative framework that will allow the digital euro to be issued,
- building prototype solutions based on the digital euro.

For more on today’s decision, see the ECB website.

Banka Slovenije is playing an active role in the Eurosystem’s activities in connection with the potential issuance of a digital euro. We have been helped tremendously in this by the opinions and views expressed by Slovenian stakeholders via the Eurosystem’s public consultation on a digital euro, and also at two digital euro events organised this year by Banka Slovenije. This autumn we are planning to hold individual interviews with representatives of expert stakeholders in Slovenia, with the aim of gathering as much practical information as possible, which will then provide important guidance in our work on the project at ECB level.

You are welcome to take part.