Italian banking association launches experimental project for digital euro

The Italian banking association ABI is testing a digital euro. The ECB still needs time to think about one.

The Italian banking association ABI has confirmed its support for the introduction of a sovereign European digital currency.

He has started pilot studies for a digital euro project

According to an announcement, the association is working with its research and development arm ABI Lab and the country’s commercial banks to develop an experimental digital euro.

The ABI’s digital euro study will focus on two main areas: The analysis of the technical feasibility and the programmability of the digital currency by the central bank in order to differentiate itself from existing electronic payment methods.

The Italian corporate network company SIA will support the consortium in the technical feasibility studies. SIA is also involved in the Spunta project. This is the ABI’s blockchain-based interbank settlement layer.

The project focuses on an experimental digital euro

But nothing was said that the Italian central bank was also involved. Instead, other cooperation partners such as the digital service company Reply and the consulting giant PwC are named as partners in the pilot study.

With the program, ABI wants to prepare the Italian banks for a future in which a digital euro could play a role. A spokesman for ABI spoke about the goals of the project and told Cointelegraph:

„The aim of the initiative is to contribute proactively to the public discussion and to support the banks operating in Italy in preparing for the future. The aim is not to anticipate the decision of the European Central Bank on the introduction of a digital currency, but rather to to research possible use cases and to reflect on the implications of a possible implementation in advance. “

Back in December, an ECB official said the bank could think about a digital euro by 2021. In fact, previous reports stated that the development of a digital central bank currency for the European Economic Area would take at least five years .

In France, the central bank is already running several test protocols for its experimental digital euro. Ethereum developer ConsenSys is one of the blockchain companies that work with partner companies that are testing the digital euro on behalf of the Bank of France.