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国际资讯监管与政策

欧洲央行行长:欧盟成员国无权发行专属货币

上个月,爱沙尼亚国家数字货币Estcoin项目赢得媒体争相报道。这个新的数字货币如果能够成功发行,将辅助爱沙尼亚的电子居留(e-Residency)项目。但是如果要让欧洲央行(ECB)行长Mario Draghi来决定的话,这一切都不可能发生。事实上,他已经明确表示,欧盟成员国不能随意发行自己的货币。这番言论对Estcoins的发展来说是个大问题。

Estcoin项目‘胎死腹中’?

Estcoins的概念很有意义。发行一种国家数字货币用于参与该国的电子居留项目在未来可以创造激动人心的新机遇。这类货币的用处是很有限的,毕竟它们不能在交易所中进行交易。不过,这一方案似乎已经遭到了很多人的反对,这并不出人意料。在众多反对声中,欧洲央行行长Draghi的意见尤其引人注意。

在近期的一场新闻发布会中,Draghi提到了有关Estcoin的概念。记者在新闻发布会中提出的相关问题似乎Draghi早有预料。

作为回应,Draghi说:

欧盟所有成员国都不能推出自己的货币,因为欧元区的货币仍然是欧元。

这一评论完全不给人想象的空间,因为这暗示着Estcoin的概念已经是一潭死水。

鉴于爱沙尼亚从2004年开始就成为了欧盟(EU)成员国,该国必须遵守欧盟法律。这也就意味着,爱沙尼亚可用的唯一合法支付方式就是欧元。不过,随着越来越多的国家对国家数字货币概念的试验,似乎未来的改变也只是时间问题。由于其领先的数字架构,爱沙尼亚在这一领域有竞争优势。另外,其电子居留项目已经吸引了很多正面的关注。

听了Draghi近期发表的评论,有人可能会问Estcoin到底能不能成真。不过,这种程度的制度阻力在数字货币以及加密货币的世界不算什么新鲜事。尤其是欧洲央行,这个机构一直都有随时打压创新的习惯。控制欧元区的货币政策是他们的目标。如果他们失败了,就等于给其他货币打开大门,欧元的主导地位就会遭到挑战。

Draghi此番评论可能已经给Estcoin判了死刑,不过目前也并未有确切的消息证实这一点。Estcoin很可能会按原计划继续发展,尤其是当前有很多专家都认为欧元迟早会走向“死亡”。至于事态是否真的会发展到那种程度还有待观察,但这一状况确实是很有可能发生的。欧洲央行未来也可能不得不推出基于区块链的欧元,不过从当前已知的事实来看,这一切听起来似乎是很疯狂的计划。

国家数字货币始终是一个相当复杂的考验。这类货币在各个方面都可以与法币进行竞争,因此银行将其视为一个巨大的威胁。然而,像Estcoin等概念的推出不是为了与欧元竞争。它们只是辅助型的货币,用户群也比较小。无论如何反对这类创新是毫无道理的。至于未来几个月内,Estcoin项目能否继续还有待观察。

Not long ago, we touched upon the concept of so-called Estcoins. The new digital currency would complement Estonia’s e-residency project, assuming the tokens were ever issued. If it were up to Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank, that would never happen. In fact, he has clearly stated that no member country can introduce its own currency at will. This could be quite the problematic development for Estcoins.

THE ESTCOINS PROJECT MAY NEVER HAPPEN

The concept of Estcoins makes a lot of sense. Issuing a national digital currency designed for participants of the country’s e-residency program could introduce exciting new opportunities in the future. The usefulness of such coins would remain pretty limited, as they would not be traded across any exchanges whatsoever. However, it seems this proposal has already been met with a ton of opposition, which is not entirely unexpected. The biggest force opposing Estcoins is ECB President Mario Draghi himself.

In a recent press conference, Draghi touched on the concept of Estcoins. The question came up during the press conference, which Draghi seemingly expected to happen. In answering the question, Draghi stated that “no member state can introduce its own currency, as the currency of the Eurozone is still the euro.” This comment leaves nothing to the imagination whatsoever, as it indicates the entire concept of Estcoins may be dead in the water already.

Considering Estonia has been a member of the European Union since 2004, the country must abide by EU law. That means it can legally only use the euro for payment. However, with multiple countries experimenting with the concept of creating national digital currencies, it seems that change is only a matter of time. Estonia may have a competitive advantage in this area, thanks to its advanced digital infrastructure. Additionally, the e-Residency program has attracted a lot of positive attention as well.

Given Draghi’s recent statement, one has to question whether or not Estcoins will ever happen. This degree of institutional resistance is nothing new in the world of digital currencies and cryptocurrencies, though. The European Central Bank in particular has a habit of stifling such innovation whenever possible. It is their goal to retain control over the monetary policy active in the eurozone. Failure to do so would open the proverbial floodgates for other currencies to quickly take over.

This remark by Draghi could effectively spell the end for Estcoins as a whole, although it is not certain that will be the case. Estcoin may still go ahead as planned, especially considering that many experts have declared the euro itself will “die” sooner or later. Whether or not things will ever get to that point remains to be seen, but it is certainly possible. The ECB may be forced to introduce a blockchain-based euro at some point as well, although those are still wild plans for now rather than a known fact.

A national digital currency is always a pretty complicated ordeal, to say the least. Considering how these currencies could rival fiat currencies in one way or another, banks see them as a big threat. However, concepts such as Estcoins are not designed to rival the euro by any means. They are complementary currencies only a few people will use for now. There is no reason to oppose this degree of innovation whatsoever. It will be interesting to see if the Estcoin project will be developed any further in the coming months.


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