Answer to Written Question: Need for the EU to issue a digital currency
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Ms McGuinness
on behalf of the European Commission
As highlighted in the Digital Finance and Retail Payment Strategies adopted in September 2020, the Commission supports the technical work by central banks, looking into the possible issuance of a digital euro while safeguarding the legal tender of cash.
As announced in its January 2021 Communication on the ‘European economic and financial system: fostering openness, strength and resilience’, the Commission and the European Central Bank services are currently jointly reviewing at technical level a broad range of policy, legal and technical questions emerging from a possible introduction of a digital euro, taking into account their respective mandates and independence provided for in the EU Treaties.
The Digital Finance Package includes a legislative proposal for a Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) which aims to enable innovation through legal certainty, while addressing risks to consumer protection, market integrity and financial stability. The MiCA proposal will regulate crypto-asset issuers and service providers. If the proposal is adopted as proposed, it will provide consumer protection rules for wallets, exchanges and trading platforms providing services in relation to crypto-assets in the EU, including Bitcoin. Many crypto-assets, including Bitcoin, remain volatile assets and consumers need to familiarise themselves with the risks before investing.