The European Central Bank (ECB) and Eurosystem have started seeking for companies to join in a prototype exercise for customer-facing payments services, indicating that progress on the digital euro is still being made. A notice issued Thursday asked payment service providers, banks, and other relevant entities to express interest in the project.
The Eurosystem, which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks of euro-area nations, said that it will choose up to five front-end providers based on their capabilities and use cases. While prior experience with the service being prototyped is not essential, it will be taken into account during the selection process.
The prototype developers will be asked to create front-end applications that adhere to the system’s existing backend and interface specs. They will be able to give comments on the current system, including how it might meet their technical requirements, and they will be able to suggest new value-added services. Participants will not be compensated for their time, but they may be considered for future phases in the creation of the digital euro.
ECB executive board member stated that producing a digital euro is necessary
The project has a May 20, 2022 deadline for applications. The project will start in August and end in the first quarter of the following year. The digital euro experimentation’s exploratory phase will conclude in October 2023. A decision on the construction of a real-world digital euro central bank digital currency is expected from the Eurosystem Governing Council at that time (CBDC).
This is the most recent stage in a long process toward a digital euro, which has been contentious at times. More than 11,000 people responded to the European Commission’s digital euro project earlier this month, with citizens concerned about government overreach and spying. Despite this, ECB executive board member Fabio Panetta recently stated that producing a digital euro will “likely become a requirement.”