Europe is clearly concerned that the United States and China may dominate the online payment system through digital currencies. The European region is of the opinion that there is a gap which should be filled in order to make transactions faster, cheaper and safer.
Europe and its fears
Countries from the European Union do not seem satisfied with the intentions of China or the United States toward digital currencies. Considering the fact that it has not done much to modernize its financial system, it looks like Europe feels endangered.
The European Central Bank is currently working on alternatives that could help regional companies retain dominance in the payment sector. During a speech in Brussels which took place last week, Benoit Coeure, one of the ECB board members, stressed that the European Union may be exposed to the risk of monetary force being directed against it.
The Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, talked about the same threat.
"It has become clear that for certain strategic technologies, the capacity to drive cutting-edge innovation will determine our sovereignty as a continent. Payments is one of those strategic technologies."
- said Dombrovskis.
A real threat - Libra
The Vice-President of the European Commission referred to private social media companies managing data as well. He meant mainly Facebook there, though. In his opinion, such platforms are not suitable for developing a financial project desired by many people.
It is worth remembering how opposed was Libra, a system initiated by the social media giant. According to Dombrovskis, there is a gap in Europe that needs to be filled before companies like Facebook take control.
"It indicates that yes, clearly, there is a gap in offer for cheap, fast and convenient payments. This is what we should be working on."
- concluded Dombrovskis.
Europe seems to be rolling its sleeves up so as not to stay behind when it comes to innovation. Some time ago it became known that this continent intends to allocate a total of EUR 400 million for the sake of the development of artificial intelligence and blockchain. The new programme that will be initiated by the European Investment Fund (EIF) in 2020, will support universities, companies and research institutions so that they can develop in this regard.