ECB hires Evelien Witlox to push ahead with digital euro program

Karthik Subramanian

The European Central Bank looks to be determined to go ahead with its digital euro project as it has announced the appointment of ING’s Global Director of Payments, Evelien Witlox, as the lead for its digital Euro program.

ECB

She was initially with Equens where she worked for 10 years before moving on to ING where has been for the past 5 years. This is indeed a huge responsibility on the shoulders of Evelien and it also goes to show how highly she is regarded within the banking circles. The digital euro program is expected to be a complicated program as it involves something which has never been done before and so the true effects of the same are not fully known as yet. The digital euro could disrupt the existing financial ecosystem and the ECB cannot afford to lose control of the ecosystem as a result. It is important for the ECB not only to ensure the proper rollout but also ensure that the digital euro is adopted by the mainstream users.

This program was launched at the beginning of the year and is expected to go on for a couple of years at least by which time it can be safely expected that other countries, like China and Singapore, may have introduced their CBDCs by then which would give a good case study for the ECB to study and ensure that any mistakes made in the process by the central banks of those countries are used as lessons and they are not repeated by the ECB again. Even then, each rollout in each region presents a unique challenge for all involved and even after putting in so much effort, a big area of concern is mainstream adoption.

With many digital payment systems already in place with various methods of payments being offered to the users by private entities for internal and external transfers, it is only going to be an additional burden for the users to maintain another wallet for storing their digital euro. Also, the fact that the digital euro is going to be highly regulated and monitored ever since its launch is likely to put off many users who may prefer digital currencies that do not have such tracking so that they can retain control of their finances.

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