Banks Should Speed Up Instant Payments to Beat Bitcoin – European Central Bank Exec

News, Regulation | December 1, 2017 By:

Yves Mersch, European Central Bank (ECB) executive board director, said that banks should speed up the introduction of instant payments to counter the rise of digital currencies such as bitcoin.

During an event in Rome, Mersch dismissed the impact of digital currencies but he urged commercial banks to provide an alternative. Mersch also said the ECB would “experiment with cash on different digital technologies” but did not see scope for “adventurous applications” of such technology.

“We shall also experiment with cash on different digital technologies,” Mersch said. “Other adventurous applications of a more disruptive nature are simply not robust enough.”

Yves Mersch is a Luxembourgian jurist and lawyer who served as Governor of the Central Bank of Luxembourg from the bank’s formation in 1998 until 2012 and as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank since 2012.

Mersch’s comments follows European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s pronouncement that his institution faces no threat from digital currencies, owing to their low impact on the Eurozone and its economy. He said that all this is pretty limited. So it’s not yet something that could constitute a risk for central banks.