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ECB Starts Work on Digital Version of the Euro

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Representation of a digital euro.

The European Central Bank is starting work toward creating a digital euro currency, as more consumers ditch cash.

Credit: peshkov/BigStock Photo

The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched an initiative to produce a digital euro currency.

The ECB expects the design and investigation stage to take two years, while the currency's actual implementation could add two more years to the project.

ECB’s Fabio Panetta said, "Private solutions for digital and online payments bring important benefits such as convenience, speed, and efficiency. But they also pose risks in terms of privacy, safety, and accessibility. And they can be expensive for some users."

The digital euro would let consumers make payments electronically, but also would "complement" the existing monetary system rather than supplanting physical cash and eliminating the commercial lending business.

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