The European Central Bank chose Amazon and a small number of corporations from among 54 candidates to help develop its CBDC prototype, the “Digital Euro.”
On September 16, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the five companies chosen to collaborate on the development of user interfaces for the digital euro, including e-commerce giant Amazon, the Italian bank Nexi and the Spanish bank CaixaBank.
The ECB and third-party companies are working together on 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 payments at the retail point of sale.
We have been selected by @ecb as the only European bank to develop a mobile application project for payments #P2P (between people) with #EuroDigital. 👇 https://t.co/UzMEua2y6C
— CaixaBank (@caixabank) September 16, 2022
While these private companies are working on different use cases and integrations for the digital euro, the European Central Bank is solely responsible for the development of the CBDC code and infrastructure.
Prototypes will only be used for testing purposes
The prototypes created by the companies will only be used to test the functionality of the digital euro, but will not be used in later phases of the project, according to the ECB.
The ECB said its CBDC project is in its final stages and will be ready in 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 payment 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 prototype front-end solution #digitizer payments
Read the full story at https://t.co/GVp4AMCWmR#ecb #innovation pic.twitter.com/NKqT6mSY8Q
— Nexi Group (@nexigroup) September 16, 2022
The ECB assesses the risks of the launch of the digital euro
According to local Spanish newspaper “El Economista”, the ECB fears that the launch of the digital euro could lead to a “flight of deposits to commercial banks”, which is why they are working with several leading payment providers to analyze the risks and opportunities . associated with the launch of CBDC for both individuals and businesses.
It is worth noting that the ECB’s concerns are accompanied by the deep economic crash that the Spanish People’s Bank suffered in 2017. During this act, several companies and public entities withdrew their funds in less than two months, causing more than 300,000 minor shareholders 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 people, preventing companies from ‘used to settle invoices or to carry out transactions on decentralized platforms.
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