Corrado Passera: digital euro to avoid being left behind

Corrado Passera calls for the introduction of a digital euro as soon as possible in order not only to guarantee the European Union its monetary sovereignty, but also to assert its leading role vis-à-vis China and the United States.

He said that for a long time Interview with the Huffington Post.

Who is Corrado Passera?

Corrado Passera is one of the most important bank managers in Italy. In the past he was CEO of the Olivetti Group and one of the founders of the telephone company Omnitel (later Vodafone). He was also CEO of Poste Italiane, an Italian company providing postal and financial services.

He is currently the founder and manager of Infinity Bank, a bank that defines itself as “high tech”. And that’s exactly what he talked about in the long article in the Huffington Post.

He also has a past in politics as a “superminister” in the Monti government in Italy, where he headed the ministries of economic development, infrastructure and transport.

The digital euro after Corrado Passera

According to Corrado Passera, the European Union must speed up the introduction of the digital euro. The risk is that users will turn to the private sector and stablecoins in particular. But, especially at a time when China is one step away from issuing its digital yuan, Europe risks being left behind.

These are his words:

“The digital euro: it is needed and it is needed now. It is necessary in order to unleash enormous opportunities, but above all because without it we can hardly defend our monetary sovereignty and thus also our economic and political sovereignty. We would also risk significantly weakening Europe’s geopolitical role. China is ready, and soon the US will be too. Whoever is left behind is lost in the truest sense of the word.”

Competition from stablecoins

The former Italian minister also talks about cryptocurrencies and stablecoins in particular, which raises at least a few doubts:

  • they are not truly convertible into legal currencies as their reserves are limited compared to the tokens in circulation;
  • they offer no legal protection.

But the real problem with stablecoins is that if they were recognized, The companies that issue them would actually be real banks with its own currency. This undermines the currency sovereignty of the authorities. Additionally, they pose privacy risks when issued by big tech companies, as in the case of Facebook with Diem.

The digital euro is also an answer to these challenges.

Corrado Passera calls it an innovation accelerator and also one geopolitical tool.

The digital euro in the geopolitical arena

According to Passera, CBDCs are becoming one instrument of competition between countries. The point is that China is one step away from launching its own national digital currency (CBDC).. In the last few days, the download of the wallet for e-CMY has started, but only for some cities. The United States could also soon accelerate its digital dollar. The European Union must not be left behind if it does not want to lose weight on the world economic stage. The Italian banker says:

“If the euro remained the only major non-digital currency, its value and the role of the European Union itself would be in jeopardy.”

CBDCs are becoming an instrument of competition between countries

CBDC in the world where we are

In fact, China is about to release its digital currency, likely before or after the Beijing Olympics, which will be another large-scale test. But the The US is further behind the EU in implementing its CBDC. The implementation of the technology is currently also being examined and tested in Europe. But according to ECB President Christine Lagarde, it could take at least four more years.

The United States is still in the early stages of the study. Of course, with the help of Big Tech and the many payment giants at their disposal, one can rest assured that the US could adopt the digital dollar in no time if they wanted to.

But at the moment China is ahead of everyone and it is impossible to overtake it. When the Digital Yuan emerges from the testing phase and becomes a full-fledged currency, its impact will be clear both inside and outside the country’s borders.

Its acceptance and spread beyond China could persuade Europe and the United States not to wait any longer. Because as Corrado Passera himself says:

“Tomorrow may be late”.

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