Italian banks are ready to trial a digital euro. ABI, comprising more than 700 Italian banking institutions, expressed its desire to help speed up the implementation of a European Central Bank (ECB)-backed digital currency by participating in related projects and experiments. ABI established a working group last year to investigate digital and crypto-assets.
In Thursday’s statement, the group expressed 10 criteria for a digital currency, beginning with, “Monetary stability and full conformity with the European regulatory structure must be retained as a priority question.”
The group prioritized the need for a digital currency system to completely comply with European Union legislation to gain public confidence and said banks would play a critical role in preserving that trust.
In its second guideline, the group said Italian banks are already working with distributed ledger technology, referencing the Spunta project. The project was an initiative by the ABI Lab to integrate blockchain to speed up the processing of interbank settlements.
According to the group, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would lead to future innovations to the traditional banking system like P2P transactions, machine-to-machine transactions and the ability to manage exchange rate and interest rate risk thanks to the programmable capabilities of digital currencies.
“A programmable digital currency represents an innovation in the financial field capable of profoundly revolutionizing money and exchange. This is a transformation capable of bringing significant potential added value, particularly in terms of the efficiency of the operating and management processes,” the announcement said.