The biggest obstacle to a European Central Bank-issued digital currency is not the technology, according to departing European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. Rather, he said, the “key issue is … its utility in terms of costs and benefits to the public.”
European banks must speed up their investments in blockchain technology in order to recapture their own capital markets from American financial institutions, global consulting firm Bain & Company warned in a report released on September 3. A day later, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde told the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee that with bank profits low and FinTech firms gobbling up investments, EU central banks must welcome new technologies—including digital currencies—in order to remain competitive.
Less than 12 hours after it was announced, Facebook’s new libra cryptocurrency was already causing the kind of concern in European financial circles that even Bitcoin has not been able to generate.