Lagarde Says European Central Bank Will Adopt Digital Currency

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde signaled that her institution could create a digital currency within years in what would be a dramatic change to the euro zone’s financial sector.

“My hunch is that it will come,” Lagarde said Thursday during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the ECB. “If it’s cheaper, faster, more secure for the users then we should explore it. If it’s going to contribute to a better monetary sovereignty, a better autonomy for the euro area, I think we should explore it.”

China is also advance with plans for a central-bank digital currency.

“We’re not racing to be first,” Lagarde said. “We are moving ahead diligently, not incautiously. We will be prudent.”

Bitcoin price has “considerable” upside in the long-term as it better competes with gold as an “alternative currency.”

The ECB president said it might be two to four years before the project could be launched as it addresses concerns over money laundering, privacy, and the technology involved.

The ECB policy makers intend to decide around mid-2021 whether to initiate a full-fledged project and prepare for a possible launch, says a report by MSN/Bloomberg).

Bitcoin (digital currency) has confounded critics so far this year, attracting the attention of Wall Street, high-profile investors, and central bankers.

In 2019, the Europe Cryptocurrency Exchanges market size was USD 5.17 billion and it is expected to reach USD 15.26 billion by the end of 2026, with a CAGR of 16.94% during 2020-2026.

JP Morgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, has this year softened its previously harsh tone on bitcoin.

America’s biggest bank has said bitcoin’s strong 2020 could be set to continue, finding the bitcoin price has “considerable” upside in the long-term as it better competes with gold as an “alternative currency.”

The bitcoin price has more than doubled this year, climbing above $16,000 per bitcoin this week and soaring a staggering 40% over the last month as a raft of positive news sweeps the bitcoin and crypto industry.

The worldwide market for Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet is anticipated to achieve USD 8.69 billion by the end of 2024, increasing at a CAGR of 111.6% between 2019 and 2024.

Now, as big-name investors give their backing to bitcoin, economist Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business and one of crypto’s fiercest critics, has said bitcoin is “maybe a partial store of value”—somewhat rowing back on previous comments where he’s said bitcoin’s destined to end up in the “museum of failed coins” with all the other digital currencies.