As Eurosystem officials weigh the creation of a wholly digitized version of the euro, one area of debate — the actual technological underpinnings of such a currency — have yet to be answered.
ECB head Christine Lagarde spoke to this area of continued inquiry during remarks on January 21, during which she talked about the digital euro among other areas.
Lagarde was quoted as saying:
"But there are lots of questions that have not been resolved and that will, when they are resolved, determine the shape the technology support, the process by which the digital euro will be created, and I want to downplay any expectations that it is about to come. It will take a number of years, it is a complicated issue, it’s one that has to be resolved without disrupting the current financial scene, nor jeopardising the monetary policy transmission that we have currently. So, we have not yet either decided what the technology backbone would be ideally in order to support that digital euro."
The ECB, Europe's central bank, fielded more than 8,000 responses to its recent public consultation on a digital euro, an influx that officials are now weighing as they plot a possible digital euro launch. If the Eurosystem did move ahead with a digital euro, it would likely take years to accomplish, as Lagarde and other officials have said.
Still, the effects could be far-reaching. In December, a statement from the ECB's governing council highlighted how a digital euro might trigger the creation of new business models.