The European Central Bank (ECB) has denied that its upcoming digital euro will be programmable money. A spokesperson for the bank confirmed to BeInCrypto that there would be no limits on where, when or to whom digital euros could be spent. Programmable central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) would allow restrictions to be set on how, when and where people can use a digital currency. A leaked interview with ECB head, Christine Lagarde, appeared to suggest that a digital euro would be programmable, but the spokesperson denied this to BeInCrypto. The ECB would be unable to identify holders or users of digital euros, the spokesperson added.
A programmable CBDC raises issues around personal liberties and surveillance. Such a currency could be designed to expire after a certain amount of time, or be limited to specific merchants or goods and services. Lagarde had previously stated at a meeting of the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Summit in March that the ECB would not be in charge of programming the CBDC.