Digital euro can’t be programmable: Eurogroup

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The Eurogroup of the European Council January 16th The final digital euro must be non-programmable and can be automatically converted into a traditional asset.

Digital euro should not be programmable

The Eurogroup said the digital euro “cannot be a programmable currency”.

The digital euro should be able to automatically convert to the traditional euro at any time, but the asset cannot be programmed so that the holder cannot use it for certain purchases or at certain times.

This could be of interest to cryptocurrency developers looking at how the digital euro will integrate with DeFi applications and exchanges. The EU has never confirmed that the digital euro will be built on blockchain, but was suggested Decentralized solutions are being considered, including distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Crypto developers and their applications can definitely accept the digital euro. However, the Eurogroup’s claim to lack of programmability is that these developers are using blockchain-based stablecoins such as Euro Tether (EURT), Stasis Euro (EURS), and Circle’s Euro Coin (EUROC) to This means that they may prefer to continue using the blockchain built by It is highly programmable via smart contracts.

The Eurogroup also distinguished between user-programmed payments (perhaps scheduled payments) and programs that could broadly control the movement of assets. The former is supported, the latter is prevented.

Design and function are “political” decisions

The Eurogroup’s concern over programmability is one of many design points that the community described as “political” in today’s announcement.

The Eurogroup said the functioning and design of a digital euro requires “political decisions to be discussed and taken at the political level”. It suggests that the design of the asset could strengthen the EU’s position in geopolitics and improve strategic autonomy and independence due to the importance of payment systems.

The group has identified several concerns related to that goal that need to be balanced. A digital euro should be widely available, but should complement cash rather than replace it, he said. He further noted that the digital euro should allow crime and fraud prevention surveillance while providing trust and privacy to users.

He pointed out that holding limits should be implemented to safeguard the financial stability of the EU and that public and private participation should be balanced. He further noted that EU-specific needs need to be balanced with interoperability with other he CBDCs.

The creation of a digital euro will require the participation of several different EU organizations. The Eurogroup said the European Parliament and the European Council would have to create a legal basis for assets if a digital euro were created. He further said the European Commission needs to draft legislation.

The European Council has issued a statement today, the details of which are based on discussions between members of the Eurogroup. This is an informal conference group that includes Eurozone Finance Ministers.

The digital euro is currently in the research stage. The EU plans to decide whether to issue a digital euro in the fall of 2023, according to a December report. The assets will be issued much later if the EU decides to proceed.

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