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What would a digital euro be?

A digital euro would be a digital form of cash: an electronic means of retail payment issued by us, the European Central Bank. As a form of public money, it would be available free of charge to everyone in the euro area, for any digital payments.

Today, people do not have access to public money in digital form. In our increasingly digitalised society, a digital euro would be the next step forward for our single currency.

Key features

Digital cash

A digital euro could be used for all your digital payments, just as cash can for physical payments. It would offer another way to pay in stores or online shops, or to send money to friends and family.

Universally accepted

You would be able to use digital euro with any shops and merchants in the euro area that accept digital payments.

Free of charge

Like banknotes and coins, a digital euro would be a public good, meaning everyone in the euro area would be able to pay in digital euro free of charge.

Available offline

You wouldn’t need an internet connection. You would still be able to make your payments without one.

Secure and private

Even when you use digital euro online, we would not be able to identify you based on your payments. Moreover, a digital euro would offer cash-like privacy for offline use.

Guaranteed value

A euro will always be a euro. One digital euro would always be worth exactly the same as a €1 coin.

Not another crypto-asset

A digital euro would not be a crypto-asset. Crypto-assets are not backed or managed by a central institution, which makes them risky and unstable. You have no guarantee that you will be able to exchange your crypto-assets for cash when you need to.

Instead, a digital euro would be backed by the same institution that backs your cash – us, the European Central Bank. And just like cash, it would always be worth its face value. 


Digital euro reading materials

At a glance:

one-page overview

In a nutshell:

trifold brochure

All pages in this section