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Italian Banks Start Experiments With Digital Euro Built on Blockchain Tech

The Italian Banking Association said the work would help financial institutions prepare for the future.

Dec 22, 2020 at 4:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:47 a.m. UTC

The Italian Banking Association (ABI) has started experimentation with a digital euro based on distributed ledger technology.

  • Comprised of over 700 Italian banking institutions, the ABI said Tuesday the work would examine the technical feasibility of a digital euro and further look at "new value-added services" that would become possible due to the programmable nature of the technology.
  • "The aim of the initiative is to proactively contribute to public debate and support banks operating in Italy as they prepare for the future," said the ABI in a statement.
  • The experiments will be divided into two parts: one looking at the infrastructure and distribution model to gauge technical feasibility, and another assessing how programmability could provide use cases that differentiate a central bank digital currency from existing electronic payments systems.
  • In November, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said she believes the region’s monetary authority will move to launch a digital version of the euro in the next two to four years.
  • Along with other central banks, the ECB is actively working on how the digital euro might be designed and how it might function if launched.

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