PayTechTalk 55 – The digital programmable euro

PayTechTalk 55 | Der digitale, programmierbare Euro | digital programmable Euro | PayTechLaw
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Our 55th episode of PayTechTalk is a special one as it is a co-production between us and the esteemed Alexander Bechtel of “Bitcoin, Fiat & Rock’n’Roll”, one of the leading German-speaking podcasts reporting on the topic of digital currencies. Alexander and I talk to professor Philipp Sandner, the founder of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC), a think tank at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, as well as Jonas Groß, a research assistant and project manager at the FSBC. These guys are the perfect people for our discussion as both are real experts regarding the topic of our PayTechTalk 55 podcast: the digital, programmable euro.

The digital programmable euro

So what is the digital, programmable euro? Philipp has been a member of the FinTech counsel of the German Federal Ministry of Finance since 2017. In this function, he has recently published a paper precisely on this topic.

We talk to him and Jonas about the aims of the paper and clarify how the term “digital, programmable euro” should be defined.

Why is this digital, programmable euro so important? What proposals are there to successfully implement this vision? What role does the machine economy play, i.e. the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) in the implementation? And how can the various players, i.e. industrial companies, businesses, associations, commercial banks, the German Federal Bank and the European Central Bank (ECB) create a European legal framework?

Does it make sense for the European Central Bank (ECB) to issue a digital, programmable euro – or should the issuing be left to commercial banks? Is there an alternative to blockchain? And how would such a digital euro be compatible with ethical values, e.g. social benefits or linking it to certain assets? Would the population even benefit from programmable money – or would this mainly benefit central banks and politics?

The paper “The Digital Programmable Euro, Libra and CBDC”

Additionally, Philipp and Jonas have been working on a paper that takes a detailed look at the implications of the digital programmable euro for European banks. In their study, they analyse the impact digital programmable euro initiatives, Libra Stablecoin and CBDCs have on banks. This showed that Libra as well as a Euro-CBDC has the potential to seriously affect European banks. Experts fear that it could lead to a large financial disintermediation of the financial sector and trigger digital bank-runs. However, apart from these risks, Libra and the Euro-CBDC also have the potential for banks to develop new business models.

Alex and I also talk to our guests about their study and the results – and how these may impact our future banking landscape.

It is an incredibly interesting topic and we could have talked about it for hours! However, looking at our watch, we decided to call it a day after a (very) good hour – at least for now. Maybe we will come back to this topic in the future and delve even deeper. ?

In any case, enjoy PayTechTalk 55!

The Podcast is in German.


Both papers


The conversation partners Alexander Bechtel, Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner & Jonas Groß

You can find more information about the podcast partners here (in German):



Cover picture: Copyright © PayTechLaw

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