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The European Union plans to launch its own central bank digital currency for the European bloc as early as 2026, according to a European Central Bank executive.

"We are focusing on a digital euro, in order to allow citizens to use sovereign money to make payments anywhere in the euro area, while protecting its role as an anchor for the payment and monetary system," Fabio Panetta, an exec at the European Central Bank said during a speech at Columbia University last month.

Earlier this year, Panetta said that Europeans were likely to be more receptive to a digital euro that could be used in stores or in online transactions. He said that making the digital euro legal tender and available for peer-to-peer payment methods would increase adoption.

However, Panetta was quick to point out that crypto had unique challenges: “Despite claims that cryptos are a trustworthy form of currency free from public control, they are too risky to act as a reliable means of payment. They behave more like speculative assets and raise multiple public policy and financial stability concerns.”

“Recent developments in the market for crypto-assets illustrate that it is an illusion to believe that private instruments can act as money when they cannot be converted at par into public money at all times,” Panetta said. 

The crypto slump has figures like Panetta concerned about more volatility and risks in the stablecoin market, with Panetta declaring that stablecoins were "vulnerable to runs" and still full of risks.