Epidemic accelerates adoption of digital currency: ECB President


European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said the epidemic has led to a growing number of consumers adopting digital payments and the trend has accelerated.

He also indicated that a panel of euro-zone central bank officials determined to unambiguously reveal a ruling on the European central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Speaking at an online conference organized on 10 September by DuP Bundesbank, Legarda said that EU-commerce sales rose nearly 20% between February and June, even as overall retail sales declined by 1.2%. He said he experienced a “double-digit growth rate” since the outbreak of online payment volume began.

“The epidemic has served as a catalyst, accelerating the transition towards a digital new normal,” Lagarde said. “A vast majority of consumers expect digital services to continue to use them, as they do now or often.”

Other institutions have also reached the same conclusion regarding the economic collapse of COVID. An August report from Singapore’s DBS Bank stated that “the ongoing epidemic has linked fuel to a move towards society with fuel.”

Lagarde supports a CBDC-developed ECB to move towards digitalization, in addition to faster and cheaper cross-border payments. Last September, when she was head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the ECB president said that she would focus on adapting EU institutions to the changing financial environment by being open to crypto.

“The Eurosystem has not yet decided on introducing a digital euro,” Lagarde said.

“But, like many other central banks around the world, we are exploring the benefits, risks and operational challenges of doing so.”

According to the ECB president, the results of a workforce studying the potential effects of CBDC on Europe “will be announced in the coming weeks.”