Eurozone CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

Economic Information

Monetary Base

$5,840,072,296,272

Cash Issued

$1,744,953,034,223

GDP

$14,111,860,534,117

Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:

N/A

Freedom House Index:

N/A

Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:

N/A

The Eurozone, or Euro Area, is in the research phase. The European Central Bank announced in October 2023 that it would push forward to the next phase of its CBDC research after the past two years of broad investigations. This next phase, what is being called the preparation phase, will include establishing a legal framework, selecting technology providers, and building the infrastructure. This phase will also include testing and experimentation so the Euro Area will likely soon move to the pilot phase.

CBDC History and Development

In its October 2023 announcement, the European Central Bank repeatedly said that its CBDC (referred to as a digital euro) would be the “electronic equivalent to cash.” However, it's important to be clear that the CBDC would not be like cash at all. European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde has said in the past that, “When we surveyed Europeans, the first concern that they had… was privacy. Privacy is first and foremost on their mind when we divvy up the digital euro. [But] there would not be complete anonymity as there is with [cash.]”

Although the European Central Bank has often pointed to declining cash use as a reason to launch a CBDC, it seems an anti-cryptocurrency motivation is also at play. In 2023, Lagarde said, “The reason I’m personally convinced that we have to move ahead [with a CBDC] is a situation like the one we are in now. … I don’t want Europe to be dependent on an unfriendly country’s currency… or dependent on a friendly currency [that] is activated by a private corporate entity like, you know, Facebook or Google. … I don’t want Meta, Google, or Amazon to suddenly come up with a currency that will take over the sovereignty of Europe.”

In 2024, the European Central Bank announced it was looking for developers to work on different components of what would become a digital euro. The European Central Bank offered a total budget of €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) across the five different requests for applications. Of the topics covered, the European Central Bank is seeking developers that can work on risk and fraud management, app development, offline service, secure exchanges, and alias services.

European Central Bank executive board member Piero Cipollone told the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs that the central bank was looking for CBDC developers even without authorizing legislation because “Our readiness would be compromised if we started searching for possible suppliers only after that decision [to launch a CBDC] is made.” He also noted there would be restrictions on CBDC holdings, restrictions on who may hold the CBDC, and no interest payments. Cipollone later suggested a CBDC could be rolled out as soon as November 2025.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.