- The European Central Bank has previously stated that anonymity would be impossible for digital euro transactions.
- ECB representative Fabio Panetta recently contradicted this statement, saying smaller transactions may be anonymous.
- It remains to be seen whether Panetta is referring to microtransactions.
Share this article
The European Central Bank appears to have shifted its privacy stance on its upcoming digital currency, with ECB executive Fabio Panetta saying “For smaller amounts, we could permit truly anonymous payments.”
Europe Changes Its Tune on Digital Currency
Panetta’s statement contradicts a previous report published in October 2020 where the ECB stated “anonymity would not be possible” for payments on the planned digital currency.
However, Panetta clarified that anonymity would be for very small transactions only, adding that “in general, confidentiality and privacy are different from anonymity,” and stating that some anti-money laundering checks would be required for most transactions.
.@ecb publishes complete Fabio Panetta interview on Digital Euro from the FT this w/end:
– Design phase may be launched after Governing Council approval in July
– EU Leg required to allow authorities to verify transactions
– Tests taking place both with centralised TIPS & DLT pic.twitter.com/ET47RvvNPg
— Samuel Stolton (@SamuelStolton) June 21, 2021
Panetta additionally affirmed that he believes central banks are better placed to protect privacy in digital payments. Speaking on behalf of the European Central Bank, he stated that the ECB has no commercial interest in user data, and could ensure that “nobody in the payment chain has access to all the information.”
While potential issues such as money laundering, financing terrorism, and tax evasion are all reasons for the ECB’s previous stance on traceable payments, for smaller amounts the risks are much lower. Panetta did not give an example of exactly how small anonymous payments would be.
However, he did state that small transactions of €70 or €100 could be settled offline, with no data recorded outside of the wallets of the payer and payee.
Why Is the ECB Pushing for a Digital Euro?
In the October 2020 report, the ECB announced the necessity for a central bank-issued cryptocurrency, listing two main reasons: increased demand for digital payments globally, and to compete with existing stablecoin and CBDC projects, such as China’s digital renminbi.
Along with restating these reasons in the Financial Times interview, Panetta added that adopting a central bank digital currency could help mitigate some of the risks of a future financial crisis, mentioning how a CBDC would be a “riskless” financial instrument and the liability of the central bank.
“Anonymity Would Not Be Possible,” According to ECB’s Digital Eu…
The ECB has published an extensive report explaining its move towards a digital euro. The text also outlines how “anonymity may have to be ruled out” for citizens. Digital Euro…
“Speculative” Bitcoin Needs Regulation, Says ECB President
ECB President Christine Lagarde has called for the regulation of Bitcoin. She argued that the asset is “highly speculative” and has been used for money laundering in the past. ECB…
What is Kusama? How Polkadot’s playground accommodates blockchain de…
Kusama is relatively young and was founded in 2019 by Dr. Gavin Wood, who also founded the Web3 Foundation and co-founded Ethereum. The team behind Kusama is essentially the same…
2030: The End of Fiat Currencies?
Deutsche Bank has released a report arguing that the next decade could usher in the end of fiat currencies. Could their analysts be right? And what part does cryptocurrency have…