Burkhard Balz: The digital euro – an opportunity for Europe

Speech by Mr Burkhard Balz, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, at CashCon 2022, Leipzig, 7 September 2022.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
07 September 2022

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you very much for the warm welcome to CashCon 2022. You may be wondering why thoughts on the digital euro are the first item on the agenda at a conference about cash.

Well, if you have already had an opportunity today to take a look around Augustusplatz, which is right on our doorstep, there's something you will have noticed: the old and the new come together to create a unique ensemble.

The surrounding buildings, all harking back to different eras, not only reflect the eventful history of this square and thus of the city of Leipzig; they also complement each other to form a coherent whole.

Cash and the digital euro – should it actually be introduced – ought to complement each other as well. Both are central bank money, just in different guises.

According to a survey published in May by the Bank for International Settlements, to which a total of 81 central banks responded, nine out of ten are exploring central bank digital currency (CBDC). More than one-quarter of the central banks surveyed are in the process of developing a CBDC or running pilot projects, and over 60% are conducting proofs-of-concept or experiments with CBDC concepts.