What is the digital Euro?
This is a question on a lot of Europeans’ minds these days, as the conglomerate of international alliances known as the European Union (EU) continues developing a digital currency issued and backed by the European Central Bank.
This will not only allow EU citizens more payment options, but it will give Europe a greater “slice” of the payment industry pie. On the flipside, critics are concerned that this will over-centralize the ECB and lead to significant privacy concerns.
What is the Digital Euro?
While the European Central Bank remains in the early stages of developing the digital euro, the official currency could differ; however, the Central Bank has outlined some key features that it wants to include.
- Privacy: The digital euro will inherently protect users’ privacy, so despite being online, the ECB should not be able to track individual users’ transactions.
- Accessibility: All citizens and businesses in the eurozone, regardless of their income or technical expertise, can use and accept the digital euro.
- Security: The digital euro will have built-in security and resistance to fraud.
The digital euro would be available to all citizens and businesses in the eurozone and could be used to make payments online and offline. Remember, the ECB is developing this program to incorporate privacy and efficiency into the very foundations of the digital currency.
What Data Privacy Concerns do People Have?
Although the European Central Bank has stated that it will not track individual users’ transactions, some privacy advocates are concerned that the ECB could change its policy in the future. Then of course there are the pervasive beliefs that some legalese-ridden loophole in the legislation will allow some kind of tracking or data retention, which the general public will not become aware of until their privacy has been invaded already.
Others worry that the digital euro could be used to create a social credit system. This could reward or punish people socially, based on their financial behavior. Again, this is merely a worry brought up by critics despite the ECB stating that it has no plans to create a social credit system.
The ECB has stated that it is committed to protecting users’ privacy and that the digital euro will be designed to be as private as possible. Developers plan to consult with stakeholders throughout the development process to ensure that the digital euro meets the needs of users, and continually addresses privacy concerns throughout this process and after implementation, as well.
Do you think digital currency is a good idea? Are you eager to jump on the trend, or concerned about the implications this has for data privacy and the economy in general? Maybe you take a more neutral approach to the situation, or harbor mixed opinions on digital currency!
There’s no right answer. As technology evolves, and becomes more integrated and vital to our everyday lives and critical infrastructure, society will also change to accommodate and even encourage online connection where it makes tedious tasks more efficient!