February 5, 2024

Monei Initiates Trials for Euro-Backed Stablecoin (EURM) in Spain

Monei, a leading Spanish fintech firm, has commenced trials for its euro-backed stablecoin, EURM, under the regulatory supervision of the Bank of Spain.

Spanish fintech pioneer, Monei, has officially kicked off trials for EURM, a stablecoin pegged to the euro, operating under the watchful eye of the Bank of Spain.

An official announcement on Monei's website reveals that the trial within the regulatory sandbox began in January, with a carefully selected group of individual users to minimize potential errors.

The primary focus of the trial is to assess the transaction capabilities of EURM. Participants will undergo a verification process, upload their wallets, deposit 10 euros into their accounts, and subsequently exchange it for 10 EURM. It's noteworthy that every EURM is securely backed at a 1:1 ratio by the euro currency and stored in reputable Spanish banks, including BBVA and Caixabank.

CEO of Monei, Alex Saiz Verdaguer, expressed enthusiasm about the trial, describing it as "another step on our path toward the complete digitalization of payments". Verdaguer envisions that the new stablecoin will revolutionize money transfers, offering a "more secure, programmable, economical, democratic, and liberalized" means of sending money.

The announcement further highlights the potential of EURM to facilitate near-instantaneous transactions between individuals with access to a mobile phone. Additionally, transaction fees are expected to be minimal, quoted as "thousandths of a euro per transaction." The stablecoin's infrastructure also provides corporate options, allowing for features like monthly or daily employee payments and real-time productivity bonuses based on robotic instructions.

Notably, the Bank of Spain, having initiated its wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) program in 2022, is closely monitoring developments. Verdaguer hints at the possibility of EURM becoming the preferred technology of the Bank of Spain. Concurrently, the Bank of Spain announced separate testing collaborations with Cecabank, Abanca, and Adhara Blockchain in January 2024.

It's worth mentioning that the Spanish CBDC program stands out for its independence from the digital euro project, which aims to cover all economies within the eurozone if implemented. In parallel, the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has declared its commitment to implementing the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation six months ahead of the stipulated deadline.

From centralization to decentralization

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) or stablecoins issued by banks present various risks, including privacy concerns arising from centralized monitoring, potential financial instability as individuals shift from traditional bank deposits to CBDCs, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, challenges to conventional monetary policy tools, the threat of bank runs during economic downturns, and potential disruptions to the international monetary system.

In contrast, Bitcoin (BTC), functioning as a decentralized network and digital currency, offers potential solutions to mitigate some of the risks associated with CBDCs. Its decentralized nature enhances privacy, as transactions are pseudonymous and not subject to centralized monitoring. Bitcoin's independence from traditional financial systems reduces the likelihood of bank runs and safeguards against vulnerabilities tied to centralized control. Additionally, the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin enhances cybersecurity by providing a secure and transparent ledger. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that Bitcoin also faces its own set of challenges, including price volatility inherent in the digital currency and scalability issues.

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