A Digital Euro Must Protect Privacy, ECB Public Survey Reveals

Privacy is the number one thing Europeans want in a digital euro.

Apr 14, 2021 at 9:52 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:40 p.m. UTC

Privacy is the number one thing Europeans want in a digital euro, according to the results of a survey by the European Central Bank (ECB).

  • In an announcement on Wednesday, the ECB said it had received 8,200 replies to its requests for public comment, mostly from European citizens and business professionals, with many respondents sharing technical suggestions on the digital euro. 
  • While 43% of respondents said privacy is the most important feature of a digital euro, fewer than one in 10 showed support for full anonymity.
  • The second-most important issue was security, flagged by 18% of respondents. After that, 11% said it was important that the digital euro could be used as a form of payment across the eurozone; 9% want to ensure that there’s no added cost for using a digital euro; and 8% said offline usability is important.
  • “We will do our best to ensure that a digital euro meets the expectations of citizens highlighted in the public consultation,” said Fablo Panetta, a membrer of the ECB's executive board.
  • The digital euro is expected to be rolled out within four years if policymakers give the project the green light this summer, ECB President Christine Lagarde told Bloomberg in an interview in March.

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