The Association of Italian Banks announced last Thursday its wish to accelerate the establishment of a digital euro.
They are ready
Composed of the country's 700 most influential banks, the ABI has drawn up a list of 10 priorities that will condition the success of a new European digital currency.
In this release, Italian banks pledge to behave in accordance with the ECB's course of action. The latter would be “the guarantee of maintaining confidence” between citizens and financial institutions.
After the implementation of the Spunta project, familiarizing banks with distributed ledger technologies, encouraging results were noted, improving the efficiency of interbank transfers.
According to the group, a digital currency issued by the ECB would be synonymous with immense technological progress, guaranteeing better control of transactions, but also regained control of exchange and interest rates.
“A programmable digital currency represents an innovation in the financial sector capable of profoundly revolutionizing money and trade. This transformation will bring great added value, especially in terms of efficiency and supervision of operating and management costs. ”
A round trip
The list of countries wishing to accelerate monetary transformation is growing. Earlier in the year, the Banque de France called for more pilot initiatives to prepare for the digital transition. The Dutch central bank also announced its intentions in April 2020, with the deep desire to take on the role of instigator.
For his part, Jens Weidmann, president of the Bundesbank, raised the danger of such an implementation and the potential systemic consequences for financial institutions. Europe nevertheless seems determined to move up a gear and de facto validate an inclusive monetary system.
Ignoring the risks is one thing, staying inert in the face of monetary competition is another. The agility with which the Asian powers are embracing this technological shift is forcing the old continent to roll up its sleeves and begin its transition.
It is also difficult to omit private initiatives, which could ultimately create new poles of monetary power independent of the states.
Digital money: would the dilemma be elsewhere?
States have become aware of the obsolescence of money in a digital context. However, there has never been any mention of a fairer system, where the establishment of unchanging monetary rules known to all would be the new basis of trust between citizens and institutions.
The power of central bankers to issue new cash flows to "stimulate" the economy too often benefits an established minority in control of the financial system.
State digital currencies promise a painful future for the banking giants and raise fears of the anticipation of a widespread bank failure. The central banks, placed in the rank of savior, would in return increase surveillance of cash flows.
The validity of the financial system is indirectly called into question by the multiplication of calls for change. The problems of distribution of wealth, they are unfortunately never tackled.
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