The ECB has published the second progress report on the investigation phase of a digital euro. It outlines the developments made since the first progress report, which was published in September 2022. The report details a second set of design and distribution options that were recently endorsed by the Governing Council and describes the roles of the Eurosystem and supervised intermediaries in the digital euro ecosystem, i.e.:
- the role of intermediaries, responsible for the onboarding of end-users, anti-money laundering checks and consumer-facing services, such as payment initiation solutions;
- the settlement model, which defines who will settle online or offline transactions;
- the way in which funding and defunding will take place to allow users to convert cash and money from a bank account into digital euro;
- the distribution model. A digital euro scheme is envisaged since it is best suited to guaranteeing that all euro area citizens can pay and be paid in digital euro.
In 2023 the ECB will further assess a number of design and distribution options and in the second half of the year present the overall design of a digital euro to the Governing Council.
The ECB continues to exchange views and actively engage with a broad range of stakeholders, including at political level, as well as market participants and society at large. The digital euro is a common European project and can only be successful if it meets users’ needs.
The ECB and the euro area national central banks launched the investigation phase of the digital euro project in October 2021. It aims to address key issues regarding the design and distribution of a digital euro. The ECB Governing Council will review the outcome of the investigation phase in autumn 2023 and decide whether to proceed to a realisation phase.