The European Central Bank is working on plans to launch a special digital currency into the marketplace, according to reports.
In a quest to gain sovereignty and make it more autonomous, the ECB has intensified a desire to introduce a digital currency after previously getting considerable pushback.
China and the US have cornered the market for digital payments. Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, AliPay, and Union Pay comprise the top global payment companies, of which the first three are American.
Naturally, the ECB is worried about an over-reliance on the US and Chinese for payments, and having a currency in place would quell such fears.
ECB President Christine Lagarde highlighted the concern about big tech companies enjoying market domination in a keynote speech last year, and she has admitted the digital euro would be part of a “common European project” which would “serve Europe’s wider public policy objectives”.
This opinion has been reinforced more recently, as the EU doesn’t want to be trailing in the payment platform stakes.
Speaking about the necessity of a digital currency for Europe, Guido Zimmermann, senior economist at German bank LBBW, said: “The ECB is worried that the euro zone will end in a geopolitical and economic sandwich position between the tech companies of the USA and the payment systems of China without a digital euro.
“Right now, Europe lacks digital platforms.”
Over the past few years, the use of e-wallets has skyrocketed. It can be explained by how PayPal has strived to be a big player when it comes to e-commerce and handling consumer payments for those who wish to pay for goods online. Freelancers also use PayPal as a way to settle invoices, and for many businesses, it is a convenient payment option.
PayPal’s influence can even be seen in the gaming sphere, where it has become a trusted method that is widely available at most casino sites. Not only do the best PayPal casinos provide punters with a much faster process of withdrawals compared to when using debit cards, but they also offer generous bonuses for new players, making them an even more appealing option.
Although the debate surrounding the adoption of a digital banking currency has largely been confined to academic and technocratic circles, it certainly has the potential to be a game-changer.
While there is still some work to be done, it will be fascinating to see what happens over the coming months. The EU doesn’t want to be used as a political football, and while it may seem like a hard sell trying to persuade the general public to get on board, it could be worth it in the long run.