European Central bank official talks about CBDCs at the online Consensus 2020

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  • Consensus 2020 officially kicked off this week in a virtual manner due to the ongoing crisis brought on by the coronavirus. 
  • Consensus: distributed is Coindesk’s first-ever saw the virtual conference and included a guest speaker from the European Central bank, Yves Mersch.

One of the biggest events in the cryptocurrency space this year is Consensus 2020 which officially kicked off this week in a virtual manner due to the ongoing crisis brought on by the coronavirus. Consensus: distributed is Coindesk’s first-ever saw the virtual conference and included a guest speaker from the European Central bank, Yves Mersch.

The board member at the ECB has given an exclusive keynote speech in regards to central-bank digital currencies which could be used by consumers. Speaking at the event, the official highlighted that the bank is putting its main focus on the retail implementation of a central bank digital currency.

The official went on to argue that the wholesale central-bank digital assets would be mainly seen as business as usual. He further said:

“A wholesale CBDC, which is restricted to a limited group of financial counterparties, would be obviously largely business as usual. However, a retail CBDC, accessible to all, would be a game changer. So, a retail central bank digital currency is now our main focus.”

Also revealed at the conference was that ECB is one of the first banks in the world that is focusing on a central currency.  The CBDC projects that are currently underway by global banks are a representation of wholesale implementation. Mersch noted that central banks have put a lot of the focus on wholesale CBDC because the risks of alerting the whole financial system into collapse are too great.

“You may wonder why central banks have not chosen to provide retail access to central bank money despite access to the technology so far […] The main reason is that introducing a retail CBDC could have major consequences for the whole financial system.”

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