The European Central Bank chose Amazon and other small number of corporations among 54 candidates to assist in the development of its CBDC prototype, the “Digital Euro.”
On September 16, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the five companies chosen to assist in the development of user interfaces for the digital euro, including e-commerce giant Amazon, Italian bank Nexi and Spanish bank CaixaBank.
ECB and Third-Party Companies Work Together in the Digital Euro
According to the ECB, the companies will work in separate areas of the CBDC development project, testing the integration of the digital euro in different use cases.
Each company will focus on an individual use case. Amazon will be in charge of testing e-commerce payment systems; CaixaBank and Worldline will be in charge of prototyping P2P payments, while EPI and Nexi will work on retail point-of-sale payments.
Hemos sido seleccionados por el @ecb como el único banco europeo para desarrollar un proyecto de aplicación móvil para pagos #P2P (entre personas) con #EuroDigital. 👇 https://t.co/UzMEua2y6C
— CaixaBank (@caixabank) September 16, 2022
Although these private companies are working on different use cases and integrations for the Digital Euro, the European Central Bank is the only one responsible for the development of the CBDC’s code and infrastructure.
Prototypes Will Serve For Testing Purposes Only
The prototypes created by the companies will serve only to test the functionality of the digital euro, but, according to the ECB, they will not be used in the project’s later phases.
The ECB said its CBDC project is in its final stages and will be ready by the first quarter of 2023, fulfilling its previous announcements.
Roberto Catanzaro, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer of Nexi Group and member of the Digital Euro Market Advisory Group, said in a company statement that Nexi Group is proud that its payments platform serves to contribute to the development of the digital euro.
We are very proud to have been chosen by the European Central Bank to develop a front-end prototype solution for #digitaleuro payments.
Read the full news at https://t.co/GVp4AMCWmR#ecb #innovation pic.twitter.com/NKqT6mSY8Q
— Nexi Group (@nexigroup) September 16, 2022
ECB Assesses The Risks of Launching The Digital Euro
According to the local Spanish news outlet “El Economista,” the ECB fears that the launch of the digital euro may cause a “deposit leakage in commercial banks,” which is why they are working with several leading payment providers to analyze the risks and opportunities associated with the launch of the CBDC for both people and businesses.
It is worth mentioning that the concerns of the ECB come along with the deep economic crash that Spain’s Banco Popular suffered in 2017. During this event, several companies and public entities withdrew their funds in less than two months, causing more than 300,000 minor shareholders to lose all their money.
In addition, ECB officials recently said during an event organized by the European Economic and Social Committee that the digital euro will be aimed at retail trade, so its use will be limited to specific types of individuals, preventing companies from using it to settle invoices or to carry out transactions on decentralized platforms.
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