Corrado Passera (Illimity Bank): digital euro so as not to be left behind
By Eleonora Spagnolo – 14 Jan 2022
Corrado Passera calls for the digital euro to arrive quickly to guarantee the European Union not only its monetary sovereignty, but also to keep it a leading role in relation to China and the United States.
He stated this in a long interview with the Huffington Post.
• Who is Corrado Passera
• The digital euro according to Corrado Passera
• Competition from stablecoins
• The digital euro in the geopolitical chessboard
• CBDC in the world, where we are
Who is Corrado Passera
Corrado Passera is one of the most important bank executives in Italy. In the past he was CEO of the Olivetti Group and one of the founders of the telephone company Omnitel (which later became Vodafone). He was also CEO of Poste Italiane, an Italian company that deals with postal and financial services.
He is currently the founder and manager of Illimity Bank, a bank that defines itself as “high-tech”. And he spoke of innovation in the long article that the Huffington Post dedicated to him.
He also has a background in politics as “super-minister” of the Monti government in Italy, where he led the ministries of Economic Development and Infrastructure and Transport.
The digital euro according to Corrado Passera
According to Corrado Passera, the European Union must accelerate the release of the digital euro. The risk is that users turn to the private sector, and specifically, to stablecoins. But above all, at a time when China is one step away from releasing its digital yuan, Europe risks being left behind.
These are his words:
“The Digital Euro: it is needed and it is needed immediately. It serves to unleash enormous opportunities, but it serves, above all, because without it we will hardly be able to defend our monetary sovereignty, therefore also our economic and political sovereignty. We would also risk significantly weakening the geopolitical role of Europe. China is ready, the US will soon be too. Whoever is left behind is lost, in the literal sense of the term “.
Competition from stablecoins
The former Italian minister also talks about cryptocurrencies and in particular about stablecoins, raising at least a couple of doubts:
• they are not really convertible into fiat currencies as their reserves are limited compared to the tokens in circulation;
• do not offer legal protection.
But the real problem with stablecoins is that if they were recognized, the companies that issue them would in fact be real banks with their own currency. This is what undermines the monetary sovereignty of the authorities. In addition, they pose privacy risks where big techs are issuing them, as in the case of Facebook with Diem.
The digital euro is also a response to these challenges.
Corrado Passera defines it as an innovation accelerator and also a geopolitical tool.
The digital euro in the geopolitical chessboard
According to Passera, CBDCs will become an instrument of competition between the various countries. The point is that China is one step away from releasing its state digital currency (CBDC). In recent days, the download of the e-CMY wallet has been started, even if only for some cities. The US also may soon accelerate on their digital dollar. The European Union must not be left behind if it does not want to lose its weight on the world economic scene. In this regard, he says the Italian banker:
“If the Euro were to remain the only major non-digital currency, its value and the role of the European Union itself would be at risk”.