The Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI) says it has started tests to assess the potential benefits of a crypto-euro. The association works in parallel with the European Central Bank, but it intends to participate in the trials of a European CBDC.
Italian banks proactive on digital currencies
The ABI research center had previously announced its intention to develop a digital currency to facilitate inter-bank settlements and cross-border payments.
For the association, the priorities are to establish a legal framework adapted to the regulatory requirements of the eurozone and to protect the privacy of European citizens.
The majority of Italian banks are already using blockchain for inter-bank transactions. Basically, this process took between 30 and 50 days, but since the implementation of the Corda blockchain in the banking system, the time has been reduced to 48 hours. The success of this transition must have opened the eyes of the leaders of Italian banks, who are now making joint efforts within the ABI.
According to the banking association, a digital currency backed by the ECB would reorganize the traditional banking system. This would better manage currency and interest rate risks with the programmable capabilities of digital currencies.
The European Central Bank said it would start the project with a reflection phase, to decide whether to continue the project of issuing a digital euro around mid-2021.