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AAG of the study identifies the fundamental rationale for a possible issuance of a digital euro: to preserve the role of public money in a digital economy. It outlines the policy options, trade-offs as well as design issues that its creation would raise. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON)

What if the internet failed?

At a Glance 27-09-2021

What if the internet failed? Since the 1960s, when work on its development began, internet infrastructure has become almost as important as the electricity and transport infrastructure in modern societies. More and more key services, such as banking, food retail and health care, rely on internet connections. Despite the internet's original resilient decentralised design, the increasing importance of a few central players and the shift towards greater centralisation have made the internet more susceptible ...

Low IT spending by banks: Reason for concern?

In-Depth Analysis 24-06-2021

We collect data on IT spending as reported by banks directly supervised by the ECB in their 2020 annual reports. Slightly more than 50% of these banks report their IT spending. Our analysis, using data for those banks that do report IT expenditure, suggests that the distribution of IT expenses as share of operating income, operating expenses or total assets is uneven. We identify banks that score low on one or more of these ratios. It turns out that this group is very diverse. We argue that these ...

As artificial intelligence (AI) companies and other organisations are seeking ways to comply with ethical principles and requirements, blockchain, under specific circumstances, could be seen as a means to safeguard that AI is deployed in an ethically sound manner.

This study provides an analysis of blockchain technology in the context of international trade. It analyses the potential impacts of blockchain development and applications in eight use cases for supply chains and international trade. It also provides an analysis of the current legislative framework and existing initiatives. Based on this analysis, and following a broad consultation of relevant organisations, the study identifies several challenges in international trade documentation and processes ...

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments ...

Against the backdrop of a trend towards a cashless society and the emergence of private electronic monies, the paper discusses properties of digital currencies and implications for currency competition, describes benefits and risks of digitalisation of money for the society, explains the concept and implications of a CBDC, and discusses implications of digital money for monetary policy. The upshot is that the trend towards digitalisation will probably continue, but has to be closely monitored and ...

The Future of Money

Study 15-11-2019

Cryptocurrencies, Libra, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)... What will be the future of money? What are the implications for monetary policy? ECON’s Monetary Expert Panel has produced 4 papers which try to help answer these questions ahead of the Monetary Dialogue on 2 December, the first one with the new ECB President, Ms Christine Lagarde. This publication is provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Recent innovations have re-opened the debate on the forms that money will take in the future. This paper discusses two aspects of the debate on the future of money: the implications of the rise of global private stablecoins, and the role that public central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) could play in the future. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee.

Cross-border payments are crucial for the integration of the EU economy, and play an important role in ensuring that citizens and enterprises from all EU Member States enjoy the same rights offered by the single market. Since the introduction of the euro, the EU has launched various initiatives to reduce the cost of cross-border transactions, among them a set of single euro payments area (SEPA) standards, regulations on cross-border payments, and the Payment Services Directives. Nevertheless, cross-border ...