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A digital euro: a contribution to the discussion on technical design choices

Author

Listed:
  • Emanuele Urbinati

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Alessia Belsito

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Daniele Cani

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Angela Caporrini

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Marco Capotosto

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Simone Folino

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Giuseppe Galano

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Giancarlo Goretti

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Gabriele Marcelli

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Pietro Tiberi

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Alessia Vita

    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

In the last decade, the advent of new technologies has dramatically changed the banking and financial ecosystem. Financial operators have transformed their services in the context of the Fintech phenomenon; households’ payment habits are rapidly changing as well, embracing the revolution brought by the digital innovations. In this context, a number of central banks are devoting significant resources to examining the feasibility of introducing a digital currency as a complement to physical money. After an introduction that illustrates the main characteristics defining a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the paper presents ongoing CBDC-related work around the globe, discusses how a digital currency could support a central bank in performing its functions, and analyses its key features. The paper then illustrates a possible digital euro solution based on the integration of an account-based platform with a DLT-based one. The integration of these two components would make it possible to reap the benefits of two complementary solutions, reciprocally balancing their advantages and disadvantages, as regards, for instance, privacy. Finally, the paper presents the findings of experiments on the digital euro carried out by experts of the euro-area National Central Banks and the ECB; according to the results of those experiments, the integration of an account-based platform with a DLT-based one may provide a sound basis on which to build a fully-fledged solution, capable of meeting both regulatory and retail users’ needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Emanuele Urbinati & Alessia Belsito & Daniele Cani & Angela Caporrini & Marco Capotosto & Simone Folino & Giuseppe Galano & Giancarlo Goretti & Gabriele Marcelli & Pietro Tiberi & Alessia Vita, 2021. "A digital euro: a contribution to the discussion on technical design choices," Mercati, infrastrutture, sistemi di pagamento (Markets, Infrastructures, Payment Systems) 10, Bank of Italy, Directorate General for Markets and Payment System.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wpmisp:mip_010_21
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Chaum & Christian Grothoff & Thomas Moser, 2021. "How to issue a central bank digital currency," Working Papers 2021-03, Swiss National Bank.
    2. Allen, Sarah & Capkun, Srdjan & Eyal, Ittay & Fanti, Giulia & Ford, Bryan & Grimmelmann, James & Juels, Ari & Kostiainen, Kari & Meiklejohn, Sarah & Miller, Andrew & Prasad, Eswar & Wüst, Karl & Zhang, 2020. "Design Choices for Central Bank Digital Currency: Policy and Technical Considerations," IZA Discussion Papers 13535, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Bindseil, Ulrich, 2020. "Tiered CBDC and the financial system," Working Paper Series 2351, European Central Bank.
    4. Pietro Tiberi, 2021. "The carbon footprint of the Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) system: a comparative analysis with Bitcoin and other infrastructures," Mercati, infrastrutture, sistemi di pagamento (Markets, Infrastructures, Payment Systems) 5, Bank of Italy, Directorate General for Markets and Payment System.
    5. Christian Barontini & Henry Holden, 2019. "Proceeding with caution - a survey on central bank digital currency," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 101.
    6. Jesse Leigh Maniff & Paul Wong, 2020. "Comparing Means of Payment: What Role for a Central Bank Digital Currency?," FEDS Notes 2020-08-13-2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Morten Linnemann Bech & Rodney Garratt, 2017. "Central bank cryptocurrencies," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    8. Mauro Arcese & Domenico Di Giulio & Vitangelo Lasorella, 2021. "Real-time Gross Settlement Systems: Breaking the wall of scalability and high availability," Mercati, infrastrutture, sistemi di pagamento (Markets, Infrastructures, Payment Systems) 2, Bank of Italy, Directorate General for Markets and Payment System.
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    Cited by:

    1. Riccardo De Bonis & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2022. "Technological progress and institutional adaptations: the case of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 690, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Carlo Gola & Johannes Sedlmeir, 2022. "Addressing the Sustainability of Distributed Ledger Technology," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 670, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    digital euro; payment systems; financial market infrastructure; blockchain;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System

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