Germany’s finance minister and noted crypto critic Olaf Scholz wants the European Central Bank (ECB) to move faster with its decision on a potential digital Euro. Scholz is known for espousing anti-cryptocurrency sentiments while encouraging the EU to develop digital currencies to prevent the proliferation of private virtual currencies.
Growing Appetite for Digital Currency
According to a report by Reuters published on Nov. 27, Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance, Olaf Scholz, has urged the European Union (EU) to speed up plans on a proposed digital Euro.
Speaking during an online conference on the future of payments in the region, Scholz remarked that most businesses and consumers were beginning to demand digital money. The Finance Minister emphasized, saying:
“On the digital euro, I think we should work very hard. It is nothing where we should wait and see. [We] should be able to decide at any time that now we should do something with a digital euro.”
Scholz’s clamor for an EU CBDC echoes the sentiment shared by the governor of France’s central bank, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, back in September. According to de Galhau, a digital euro was important as the EU could not afford to trail behind in the CBDC race.
The European Central Bank (ECB) President also made comments concerning the digital euro in September. As CryptoPotato reported, the ECB chief, Christine Lagarde, said the introduction of a digital euro would seek to run complementary to the region’s fiat currency system.
Olaf Scholz. Source: BBC
Private Stablecoins Pushing Gov’ts Towards CBDCs
Scholz is arguably one of the more vocal anti-crypto finance chiefs in Europe. On several occasions, the German finance minister has issued warnings on the dangers of private digital currencies like Facebook’s Libra.
Earlier in 2020, Deutsche Bundesbank chief Jens Weidman called on European regulators to work towards preventing Libra from gaining a foothold in the region. At the time, the German central bank boss also offered the digital Euro as a viable countermeasure against projects like Libra.
Back in September, the ECB revealed that it was close to releasing a detailed report on a planned digital Euro. While the EU is still in the research stage, China is already in various advanced testing phases of its digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) project.
Indeed, the CBDC fever is also spreading to other nations, with both Japan and South Korea primed for experimental sovereign digital currency tests in 2021. According to a recent study by European fintech think tank dGen, as many as three to five countries will replace their fiat with CBDCs by 2030.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Times