Italian Payments Giant Nexi Says It Is ‘Contributing’ to Design of Digital Euro

“We are starting to talk about a new version of cash,” Nexi’s CEO said. “That’s why we are engaging with the ECB.”

Sep 24, 2021 at 8:08 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 24, 2021 at 3:04 p.m. UTC

The head of Italian payments giant Nexi says his company is “engaging” with the European Central Bank (ECB) and “contributing” to the design of the bloc’s digital euro.

Speaking at the Money 20/20 conference on Thursday, Nexi CEO Paolo Bertoluzzo told CNBC’s Karen Tso a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could be a “force” in the evolution of digital payments.

“We are starting to talk about a new version of cash,” Bertoluzzo said. “That’s why we are engaging with the ECB.”

In July, the ECB said it would move to the exploration phase of its plans to develop a digital euro. Earlier this month, Jurgen Schaaf, an adviser to the ECB, said the two-year investigation period was not a confirmation that the plans would go ahead.

In the meantime, China has forged ahead with its digital yuan. In August, the digital yuan was used in the domestic futures market for the first time following multiple other test runs.

The U.S. has fallen behind China and the European Union, and has yet to consider exploring a digital dollar for its domestic and global markets. A U.S. report from the Federal Reserve on the benefits of CBDCs is expected sometime later this month.


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Sebastian Sinclair is a CoinDesk news reporter based in Australia.