In a speech released today, ECB Executive Board member Benoit COEURE claimed there is a shortage of European online payment solutions, making Europe dependent on non-European solutions. According to him, in order to solve this problem, Europe needs innovation either with the help of the digital currency of the central bank, or with the help of an alternative strategy of digital payments:
“Dependence on non-European global players creates a risk that the European payments market will not be fit to support our Single Market and single currency, making it more susceptible to external disruption such as cyber threats, and that service providers with global market power will not necessarily act in the best interest of European stakeholders.”
The stablecoins are called one of the alternatives, but Coeure is known for his negative stance about this idea because, as he says, they carry potential risks in areas such as legal certainty, investor protection, financial stability and compliance with AML requirements.
“For example, a central bank digital currency could ensure that citizens remain able to use central bank money even if cash is eventually no longer used.”
In general, Benoit COEURE emphasized the message that the decision must be made quickly, otherwise China will continue to lead in innovation.
Image courtesy of Bloomberg