(ETH) – In what appears to be another move toward a cashless society, a new report is indicating that European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has signaled that her institution may soon 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.”
This transition wouldn’t be immediate as the president is indicating that it may be two to four years before the project could be launched as it addresses concerns over money laundering, privacy, and the technology involved. However, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey reiterated their caution with Powell saying the
Fed should “carefully and thoughtfully” review the issue, and Bailey said there’s a “lot of hard work to think through the implications.” The news comes as China has also advanced 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.”
Meanwhile, we also received news today that Chipotle Mexican Grill will open the first digital-only restaurant come this Saturday. This location will not include a dining room or a line for ordering, that’s because customers will have to order in advance on Chipotle’s app, website, or third-party delivery platforms.
According to NBC, The new restaurant design was designed for urban areas, where real estate is more expensive and a full-size restaurant isn’t possible, but the first location will open in Highland Falls, New York, just outside of the gates of West Point. However, the main reason seems to be centered around the coronavirus as the pandemic has accelerated customers’ shift to ordering online rather than in person. This resulted in the company reporting that digital sales more than tripled.