Big Tech behemoth Amazon is assisting the European Central Bank (ECB) to develop what it calls the 'user interfaces for the digital euro.'
Called by many as another 'conspiracy theory' a digital currency that is 'programmable' is only months away from becoming reality. The ECB officially began investigating a digital euro, which will be a central bank digital currency, last September. At the time, it said the investigation phase would last two years.
In February, ECB President Christine Lagarde said that the 'digital euro' would complement cash, not replace it, but leaked reports from the ECB suggest that this is only in the initial stages and that the plan is to make it the only form of currency across the EU within five years.
On Friday, the ECB announced it was collaborating with five companies, which were selected from a pool of 54 companies, to “develop potential user interfaces,” for the ECB-backed digital currency. Amazon are, unsurprisingly, the front runner, as over 1/3 of Europeans already have an account with the tech giant.
“The aim of this prototyping exercise is to test how well the technology behind a digital euro integrates with prototypes developed by companies,” the ECB stated.
Each of the companies selected will work with the ECB, focusing on a specific potential user interface of a digital euro. Amazon was assigned e-commerce payments, Nexi and EPI will focus on point-of-sale payments, and Worldline and Caixabank were assigned peer-to-peer online payments.
The ECB explained that, “the prototyping exercise is an important element in the ongoing two-year investigation phase of the digital euro project. It is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 when the ECB will also publish its findings.”
Freedom campaigners have warned that a digital currency gives government control of your bank account and represent a big danger to freedom and personal autonomy. A digital currency will be the creation of 'programmable money' allowing the government to restrict what you spend it on. It will likely be linked to your Carbon Credit Score, being developed alongside the programmable money scheme, enabling authorities to decide which products and services you can spend your money on, something even Orwell couldn't have imagined.