When Fabio Panetta, the European Central Bank’s Board member, addressed the European Union’s Economic and Monetary Committee in April, he emphasized the importance of confidentiality in any potential future deployment of the central bank’s digital currency.
The European Central Bank held public consultations on the possibility of adopting the digital euro, after studying the opinions of more than 8,000 individuals and companies. The responses received indicated that privacy is the most important issue related to the central bank’s issuance of digital currency.
43% of respondents said that confidentiality is a key requirement, and Panetta said that digital euros could meet these requirements without compromising security standards.
Other responses to the survey highlight the need for a digital euro to enable secure payments (18%), while other responses focus on cross-border payments in the EU (11%). Some respondents emphasized the need for low fees (9%) and the ability to use the system even when offline (8%).
“As I mentioned, privacy has become a key feature of the digital euro. Therefore, it will be a priority in our work to protect users’ personal data and ensure a high level of confidentiality, “said Panetta.
In fact, the European Central Bank explored ways to improve privacy even before the concept of the digital euro emerged. Preliminary investigations show that the digital system can still be tracked for illegal activity while maintaining transparency and confidentiality.
But while the European Central Bank seems to be making all the right votes regarding a possible deployment of the CBD, not everyone agrees that the end result will be rosy.
Anne Four Willis, former Apple product manager and chief operating officer of Oasis Labs, said the EU had previously shown its commitment to consumer privacy. But this does not matter much if the digital euro is issued in a centralized system.
“The European Union has a long history of consumer privacy, but it remains a key system,” Fury Willis told the Cointelegraph, adding: “Instead of doing it through a central bank, why not give the decentralized protocol the opportunity to do it instead.? ”
For example, if the digital euro were issued on the Ethereum blockchain, it would be subject to the same level of decentralization and independence as Ether (ETH) and any other symbol released through Ethereum.
But the possibility that the central bank will transfer all control over the money supply to a decentralized network seems highly unlikely.
In addition, people’s natural desire to take the easiest path can push users into a rush for digital euros, no matter how secret their refusal in the process was, says Vov Willis.
“Unfortunately, for people moving to the digital euro, I think lightness will only overcome privacy,” said Fauvere-Willis.
“Privacy is an advantage, but it is not enough to get people to change their behavior on their own. Instead of us who truly believe in privacy, we must at the same time strive to create attractive and life-changing products, and when we do, we must put privacy at the heart of what we do. “”.
The European Central Bank is still examining the possibility of introducing the digital euro, and a final decision is expected by the summer of 2021.