European citizens cling to cash and say no to the digital euro

European citizens cling to cash and say no to the digital euro - digital euroEuropean citizens reject the idea that the European Central Bank (ECB) issues a digital euro and have said so in more than 10.000 public comments on the official website of the European Commission.

Public consultation to understand citizens' views

The institution charged with promoting laws to govern the euro zone has opened a public consultation with the aim of discovering citizens' views on the possible creation and regulation of a digital currency as a new form of central bank money.

Although the consultation will remain open until 14 June, most of the comments expressed are in favor of the exclusion of the digital euro as a new payment system. This is because they prefer more private methods, such as cash.

“Clearly I say no to the digital euro. We don't need it, it's just a tool to get rid of cash and another step to make people dependent on central government and to control them, ”says one person who preferred not to identify.

Other residents of Europe, such as Dieter Schomer from Germany, believe that the digital euro, issued and controlled by a central institution, is a potential risk to freedom because it means more control of citizens by the state.

No, cash shouldn't be abolished

Cash means freedom: a digital currency can be convenient, but it can also be controlled, and that doesn't have to happen. Unthinkable if this happens through the wrong people or the wrong governments - Christy Marquez, resident of Germany in the public consultation.

The reception of European comments was opened two months after the ECB announced the launch of a legislative process with the aim of creating a regulatory framework for the implementation of a digital euro.

The project is in the process of gathering feedback from regulators and the community. The idea is to assess the potential risks and benefits of issuing a CBDC or central bank digital currency. It is believed that 2023 would be the year in which the law to launch this digital asset would be enacted.

The ECB has indicated that among its objectives is the issuance of a digital euro that citizens can keep alongside cash. This means that it is not planning to abolish the banknotes and coins currently in use.

However, in the public consultation there are many comments from people expressing the fear that the launch of a digital currency by the European Central Bank means the end of cash.

A digital euro would damage privacy

The data collected so far in the public consultation reveals that people in Europe are very attached to cash. They say it is an untraceable payment method, it allows you to make payments anonymously and therefore offers greater protection of private data.

Indeed, privacy is something Europeans value, as ECB researchers working to understand what the design of a digital euro should look like in order to gain adoption.

European citizens would appreciate payment options that allow them to remain in control of their personal data, as Fabio Panetta, member of the ECB executive board and leader of the digital euro project, pointed out.

However, concerns about possible circumvention of the rules present challenges for those working on the design of a digital asset issued by the central bank, Panetta commented.

Therefore, one of the options considered is for the digital euro to allow payments in small amounts. This is because small transactions could be done anonymously.

In any case, the fact that privacy is highly valued by users is something that conflicts with the laws being studied in the European Union, now that legislators are about to approve stricter controls.