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Half of Germans Open to Using Digital Euro Despite Lack of Awareness: Survey

A Deutsche Bundesbank’s survey reveals both a cautious curiosity and significant knowledge gaps among Germans regarding the digital euro.

A Deutsche Bundesbank’s survey reveals both a cautious curiosity and significant knowledge gaps among Germans regarding the digital euro.
Credit: Foretoken Media 2024

BERLIN – In a recent survey conducted by Deutsche Bundesbank, half of the German population expressed openness to using the digital euro, despite many not having heard of it or understanding what it entails. The findings highlight both the potential and challenges faced by the European Central Bank (ECB) as it pilots its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Survey Findings on Digital Euro Adoption

The survey, which included 2,012 respondents, revealed that 50% could “definitely” or “probably” imagine using the digital euro if it were an additional payment option. A quarter of the participants stated they would “definitely not” use it, while a similar percentage said they would “probably not” — with 1% undecided.

However, the survey also underscored a significant lack of awareness. Three in five respondents had never heard, read, or seen anything about the digital euro. Of those who had, a substantial number were unclear about its purpose: 16% mistakenly thought it was a cryptocurrency, and nearly 30% believed it would replace cash or lead to the abolition of cash.

Misconceptions and Concerns

Only 17% of respondents correctly identified the digital euro as a form of Eurosystem central bank-issued digital money, intended to be used alongside other payment methods, including cash. Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel emphasized the need for extensive public information efforts to clarify these misunderstandings.

Privacy emerged as the top concern among respondents regarding the digital euro. Over three-quarters rated better privacy than existing digital payment options as “very important” or “important.” More than 70% stressed the importance of the CBDC being based on European infrastructure, while over 60% highlighted the need for it to be government-issued and capable of offline transactions.

“Eurosystem central banks have no interest in users’ data,” Nagel reassured, asserting that the digital euro would protect privacy more effectively than current commercial payment solutions. The ECB has echoed this sentiment, stating that transaction details would remain private, known only to the payer and the payee.

Future of the Digital Euro

The digital euro is currently in a preparation phase, expected to conclude in October 2025, focusing on finalizing rules and identifying potential issuers. In June last year, the European Commission proposed a draft regulation to create a legal framework for the digital euro and safeguard cash usage.

Bundesbank board member Burkhard Balz projected that the earliest the public could make payments with the digital euro would be 2028, highlighting the gradual and meticulous approach taken by the ECB in this ambitious project.


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