The Italian Banking Association (ABI), which consists of more than 700 Italian banking institutions, expressed its desire to help accelerate the implementation of digital currencies supported by the European Central Bank (ECB) by participating in related projects and experiments. Last year, ABI formed a working group to research digital and crypto assets.
The group shared 10 considerations for the digital euro in Thursday’s announcement, starting with, “Monetary stability and full compliance with the European regulatory framework must be maintained as priority issues.”
The group prioritized the need for a digital currency framework to fully comply with EU regulations in order to win public trust, and said banks would play an important role in upholding that trust.
In a second guideline, the group said Italian banks were already working with distributed ledger technology, referring to the Spunta project. This project is an initiative by ABI Lab to integrate blockchain to speed up processing of interbank settlements.
According to the group, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will lead to future innovations in traditional banking systems such as P2P transactions, machine-to-machine transactions and the ability to manage exchange rate and interest rate risk thanks to the programmable capabilities of the currency. digital.
“Programmable digital currencies are innovations in finance that are capable of profoundly revolutionizing money and exchange. This is a transformation capable of bringing significant potential added value. Especially in terms of efficiency of operations and management processes,” the announcement said.
Other European Banks Already Want to Conduct Trials
Italy is not the first country to express interest in experimenting with the digital euro. Earlier this year, France’s central bank sent a request for proposals for a CBDC experiment. The Dutch Central Bank also announced that the Netherlands is willing to conduct a digital euro trial.
Last year, the head of the German Central Bank Jens Weidmann, in a speech, warned that the CBDC could destabilize the financial system. Later that year, the German Banks Association made an announcement advocating for a programmable digital euro.
The Italian Central Bank has not yet commented on the ABI announcement.