1.4. The Digital Euro – How the Stablecoin of a Social Media Platform challenges State Currencies

When Facebook (now Meta) initiated a global stablecoin project called Libra in 2019, governments, federal banks and regulators around the world were alarmed. The plan for a global digital money issued by the world’s biggest social network met resistance by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. After all, it could potentially have been used by billions worldwide. The project was ultimately abandoned.

While it is not used as a common argument for or against a digital euro any more, the Libra project sent shock waves around the world and caused the ECB to accelerate research into and planning for the digital Euro. In this episode, eFin & Democracy therefore takes a look at how and why it affected the European and other CBDC endeavours: What is a stablecoin? How would the Libra stablecoin have worked? What hopes and fears were associated with Libra – and with private-sector stablecoins in general? And what tasks have arisen from this with regard to the regulation of crypto assets on the one hand and digital central bank money on the other?

Season Digital Euro – Episode 4 (in German) / 7 Dezember 2023


Dr. Jonas Gross is an economist». Having earned his PhD at the University of Bayreuth with a thesis on the monetary economy and digital currencies, he is co-founder and chairman of the Digital Euro Association, and Chief Operating Officer at etonec, a business offering blockchain-based payment solutions.

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Omlor is Professor for Private Law, Commercial and Business Law, Banking Law, and Comparative Law» at the Philipps-Universität Marburg und Founding Director of the Marburg Institute on the Law of Digitization (IRDi)». An important research focus of his are legal issues of the digitized financial sector. He leads the ZEVEDI project group Tokenization and Finance».

Moritz Hütten is a financial sociologist», reserach coordinator at the Darmstadt Business School and a graduate student at the University of Amsterdam.

Claus George is Head of Digitalization and Innovation TxB at DZ BANK AG, focussing on new means of payment and forms of money.

Prof.Dr. Barbara Brandl is Professor for Sociology with a focus on Organization and Economy» at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. She is member of the ZEVEDI Project Group Tokenized Finance».

Cornelia Manger-Nestler is Professor for German and International Business Law» at the HTWK Leipzig.

Further information

European Central Bank, Crypto Asset Task Force:  Stablecoins: Implications for monetarypolicy, financial stability, market infrastructure and payments, and banking supervision in the euro area, Occasional Paper Series, No. 247, September 2020. Find the pdf here».

John Oliver: Cryptocurrencies II ( Episode of 24 April 2023):

Hannah Murphy and Kiran Stacey: Facebook Libra: the inside story of how the company’s cryptocurrency dream died, Facebook Libra: the inside story of how the company’s cryptocurrency dream died», Financial Times, 10 March 2022.

Claus George:  Digital Payments – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Lecture (in German), 25 Aril 2022, within the Public Lecture Series „Do you understand Crypto?“ at  TU Darmstadt in 2022.

All Episodes of the Digitalgelddickicht»

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1.1. The Digital Euro – Our second Cash?

The following diagnosis is undisputed: in Germany, but especially in other European countries, the use of cash is declining. Cashless payment, on the other hand, is on the rise. Would a  central bank digital currency, in our case the digital euro, be a good policy response in this situation? Only a few countries around the world have already introduced so-called “CBDCs” (central bank digital currency), but hardly any central bank is not discussing or planning it. The European Central Bank has been considering the introduction of a digital euro since Ovtober 2021, and the European Commission recently presented a legislative proposal to that effect. However, it is by no means generally accepted yet that the digital euro is needed at all.


In this episode, eFin & Democracy takes a closer look at the digital euro’s promise to be “digital cash”. We first clarify what cash is, what it can do, and how exactly its advantages could be replicated in a “digital” euro. In our everyday dealings, we are hardly aware of it: What distinguishes cash as public, state-guaranteed money in the first place, what are its qualities? Should the decline in cash use bother us? And what is driving the declining use of cash in the first place? 


The podcast sets out to answer those questions, explains the role of commercial banks and payment service providers in analog and digital payments, and sheds light on the anonymity and participation that cash promises. The big question remains how such qualities can be translated into the digital space.

Season Digital Euro – Episode 1 | 27 July 2023


Claudio Zeitz-Brandmeyer is consultant on payments and digitization at the vzbv – Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband» (Federation of German Consumer Organisations). He is a member of the Payment Systems Market Expert Group of the EU Commission and a representative in the Payment Transactions Forum of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Previously, he worked as a research assistant for members of the German parliament on financial policy and studied economics and public policy.

The Finance Team of the vzbv:

Cederic Meier is a researcher at the Department of “State Theory, Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law” at the Georg-August University of Göttingen and conducts in-depth research on constitutional and monetary law issues related to digitalization. Under the working title “Constitutional Issues of the Digital Euro” he is working on his PhD with Prof. Dr. Florian Meinel.
> See also his contribution on the eFin-Blog (German only): Quo vadis digitaler Euro?»

Jana Magin ist Ökonomin und promoviert an der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf am Lehrstuhl für Monetäre Ökonomik bei Prof. Dr. Ulrike Neyer» zur Geldpolitik der EZB und insbesondere den konkreten Auswirkungen, das die Einführung digitalen Zentralbankgeldes auf Privathaushalte hätte.

Further Information:

Video Recording of the Panel Discussion: The Digital Euro – Pro and Con» , 18. Juli 2022, closing event of the Citizen Lecture Series ” Do you understand Krypto” at the Technische Universität Darmstadt with
Katharina Paust-Bokrezion , Head of Payments Policy, Political Affairs, Deutsche Bank, and Marcus Härtel, Market Infrastructure Expert, European Central Bank.

Studies of the Deutsche Bundesbank (in English):
Deutsche Bundesbank, Monthly Report January 2023, pp.93-106: Access to Cash in Germany»
Deutsche Bundesbank, Monthly Report January 2023, pp. 75-91: Mobile Payment Usage in Germany»

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All ZEVEDI Podcasts»

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