May 24, 2023 -FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — As it marks its 25th anniversary Wednesday, the European Central Bank is readying a proposed design for a digital version of the euro, responding to pressure from developing technology that could change how money is used over the bank’s next decades.
ECB President Christine Lagarde says a digital euro could offer a way for people to buy things without depending on payment service providers controlled by non-European companies. Those could include Mastercard, Visa, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
The European Union’s executive Commission is expected to come up with proposed legislation on the idea in the next several weeks, ECB officials say, while the central bank will publish a detailed proposal for the design of a digital currency in October.
Central banks worldwide, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, are cautiously studying digital currencies as cash increasingly gives way to electronic payments. Some smaller economies such as Nigeria, the Bahamas and Jamaica already have introduced digital currencies, while China is holding trial runs.