In the last few years, many countries have been working tirelessly to create their own central bank-backed digital currency. Although most of them have different creation concepts, there is a slow and steady race to the finish line. With the European Central Bank, there is still research ongoing into how feasible the digital currency will be across the continent. However, in a recent statement by an ECB executive, the CBDC will thrive if users can make transactions with it at physical stores.
According to Fabio Panetta, the focus groups’ study mentioned that people’s ability to spend the digital euro at stores across the region could be an integral factor. In his statement, the ECB executive talked about all the discoveries of the groups. The highlight remains that citizens will be open to accepting a digital currency transaction that could be done physically at offline stores.
In his statement, the ECB executive mentioned that for the CBDC to work, offline merchants in offline shops would need to accept them, following the trend of the physical euro some 20 years back. According to Panetta, the euro notes made it easier for people across the region to pay for goods and services across shops and other physical service providers on the continent. This means that it doesn’t come as a surprise that people want the same courtesy extended to the digital euro.
The study also revealed that a higher number of citizens were not welcoming the idea of the digital euro. This is because the majority of them think that the premier bank is looking for a way to eliminate the use of physical cash. Asides from the focus groups noting that a higher demand rate could help push the CBDC adoption, they noted that adoption in physical stores across the continent could also be another major driver.
The ECB executive has allayed fears over privacy issues and assured that other things would also be looked into as time goes by. He also mentioned that another focus group study would be conducted towards the end of the year. This will be used to determine the kind of regulatory framework that would guide digital currency usage. The ECB executive mentioned that they have been impressed with the feedback from individuals and merchants and will try to design the digital euro to suit all their needs. The ECB has also been in the running to develop its CBDC as countries across the world continue to show interest.