The ECB and the Eurosystem launch experimental prototyping of a digital euro client interface

Progress will continue in the development of the digital euro as the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurosystem have begun to seek co...



Progress will continue in the development of the digital euro as the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurosystem have begun to seek companies to participate in a customer payment services prototype exercise. Payment service providers, banks and other companies involved have been guest to express interest in the project in an announcement released Thursday.

The Eurosystem, which includes the ECB and the national central banks of countries that use the euro, said it will select up to five front-end providers based on their capabilities and the use cases they present. Although entrants are not required to have prior experience with the service they will prototype, experience will be considered in the selection process.

Prototype vendors will be required to develop front-end applications in accordance with the system’s existing backend and interface specifications. They will be free to comment on the existing system, including how it can meet their technical requirements, and they will be welcome to offer additional value-added services. Participants will not be remunerated for their efforts, but may be included in subsequent stages of the development of the digital euro.

The application deadline for the project is May 20, 2022. The project will start in August and is expected to end in the first quarter of next year. The investigation phase of the digital euro experiment will end in October 2023. On that date, a decision of the Governing Council of the Eurosystem is expected to do about developing a real world digital euro central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Related: More than three-quarters of central banks are considering a CBDC: Research

This is the latest a long series of steps towards a digital euro, which has sometimes proved controversial. Earlier this month, the European Commission received feedback from more than 11,000 people on its digital euro initiative, with members of the public expressing concerns about government surveillance and overreach. Nevertheless, Fabio Panetta, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, recently expressed the opinion that the issuance of a digital euro is “likely to become a necessity”.