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Ireland's Central Bank Governor Says Digital Euro Is 'Very Likely'

Introducing a digital euro would represent a "fundamental shift" in the eurozone's financial architecture, Governor Gabriel Makhlouf noted.

Jul 30, 2021 at 3:52 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:33 p.m. UTC

The head of Ireland's central bank, who has likened the purchase of cryptocurrencies to collecting stamps, foresees a digital euro.

  • Central Bank of Ireland Governor Gabriel Makhlouf said that although the eurozone has yet to decide on a central bank digital currency, the development is "very likely" to happen.
  • "In my view, it's not a question of if but rather how and when," the governor wrote in a bank blog post on Thursday.
  • Introducing a digital euro would represent a "fundamental shift" in the financial architecture of the eurozone, Makhlouf noted.
  • The governor was less kind to cryptos, which he said were accompanied by an "unhelpful and misleading descriptor," as they don't fall under the definition of a currency.
  • Some cryptos have no anchor to provide stability, Makhlouf wrote, but he added that "on the other hand, on the evidence some people do like to collect them, just as some like to collect other things (such as stamps, for example). Buying such items can be profitable, but it can also be loss-making."
  • Makhlouf also took aim at stablecoins, saying the cryptos that are pegged to a stable currency like the U.S. dollar were only "as good as the governance behind the promise of the backing."
  • The governor, who became governor of Ireland's central bank in September 2019, is a British economist. He was previously the New Zealand Treasury's secretary and chief executive, according to his LinkedIn page.
  • In March, Ireland's central bank warned that companies operating in the republic would have to comply with anti-money laundering rules, and in May, it warned investors about the risk of cryptos.

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