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German minister thumbs down private digital currencies

The finance minister of Germany has spoken out against “private sector digital currencies.” Speaking at a recent regional banking event, Olaf Scholz called for the advancement of European banking systems to adapt to the digital era.

While Scholz has in the past called for a digital euro and even pledged to speed up European Union’s efforts on digital currency regulations, he does not support privately-issued digital currencies.

Speaking to delegates at a recent European Banking Congress event, he stated, “I do not support private sector digital currencies.”

Scholz didn’t disclose whether he was against the centralized tokens, such as Facebook’s Libra and JPMorgan’s JPM Coin or if he is opposed to decentralized digital currencies as well.

As Reuters reports, Scholz however believes that the digital era is upon us and European banking systems must upgrade and adapt. He additionally revealed he intends to invite U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to a “Franco-German proposal for global minimum corporate tax levels.”

Scholz’ latest views come just two months since he pledged to speed up the euro zone’s financial reforms aimed at regulating digital currencies. At the time, the Minister stated that Germany would welcome the European Commission’s proposals to regulate the growing industry.

“These are important proposals to make Europe’s financial sector really strong. My goal is to move the discussions forward quickly,” Scholz stated as Reuters reported.

He added that the proposed digital currency regulations would “promote innovations in the financial sector so that Europe sets standards worldwide.”

Scholz has also in the past called for the fast-tracking of the digital euro development. Speaking in October 2019, the Minister stated that he believes a digital euro would allow Europe to cement its position in the global financial system. He called on European nations not to leave the CBDC field to “China, Russia, the U.S. or any private providers.”

Scholz’ latest remarks come just days after the ECB president Christine Lagarde stated that she foresees the region launching a digital euro in two to four years. Lagarde, who has advocated for digital currencies since she was the IMF chief, revealed the ECB has been conducting research on a digital euro for two months.

The Bank of England’s deputy governor also recently called on banks to adjust to the emergence of digital currencies. Sir Jon Cunliffe stated that the BoE will not protect banks against the impact of digital currencies.

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