Europe's Digital Frontier: ECB Commits $1.3 Billion to Pioneering Offline-Ready Digital Euro
Jan 11, 2024
The European Central Bank (ECB) has issued five calls for applications, allocating 1.2 billion euros (approximately $1.3 billion) for potential contractors to develop services around a potential digital euro. Over half of this budget is designated for offline payments development. The European Union, consisting of 27 nations, is actively preparing for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), influenced by global CBDC trends. Legislative proposals for the digital euro in 2023 have added pressure on the ECB, though they have emphasised that exploration does not equate to commitment. Enabling offline payments is a key challenge, with the ECB planning two digital euro versions, one for offline use. The choice of providers remains to be seen, but traditional financial players in Europe may be considered.