Majority of Germans Show Resistance Towards the Digital Euro: Survey

Survey: Most Germans are critical of the digital euro

Despite the European Central Bank (ECB) working on a digital version of the euro for some time now, the majority of people in Germany are skeptical of such a digital currency, according to a recent survey. The Federal Association of German Banks (BdB) conducted the survey to determine whether Germans are satisfied with the existing payment options, with 76 percent of those surveyed stating they did not find the digital euro necessary. Although just under a third of respondents had a concrete idea of how the digital version of the EU currency should be designed, many were skeptical of the perceived advantages and risks involved.

BdB general manager Henriette Peucker, therefore, warned that fundamental questions needed to be answered by the central bank before the project could reach the mainstream of society. These questions include what a digital euro should look like, what advantages and risks it entails, and how it can gain acceptance and use from the European population. The digital euro may succeed when the benefits and risks are clear to the public, otherwise, consumers will stick to the digital payment options they already trust.

The rise of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether has spurred the euro currency watchdogs to examine the possible introduction of a digital version of the European common currency. In July 2021, the ECB decided to advance the preparatory work. Since October 2021, a two-year investigation phase has been underway, covering technology and data protection. However, it has not been decided whether a digital euro will come into existence.

Regardless, a digital euro should complement cash and not replace it. It is also not expected to be introduced before 2026 at the earliest. According to the BdB, a digital euro could give the fragmented European market for electronic payments a decisive boost. In the current survey, a good fifth of the 1008 respondents (21 percent) agreed that it would simplify payments.

The survey was conducted by market research institute Kantar and surveyed 1,008 adults in Germany between April 26 and May 2, 2021. They were asked whether they had heard that the ECB wants to introduce a digital euro, what the term ‘digital euro’ means and what the digital euro is for euros could be used for.

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