According to the announcement, the collaboration is working with its research and development arm, ABI Lab, and commercial banks in the country to expand an experimental digital euro.
According to Cointelegraph, the ABI’s digital euro study will allegedly focus on two major areas — technical feasibility analysis and central bank digital currency programmability in order to create a distinction from existing electronic payment methods.
Italian enterprise network firm SIA will help the consortium in the technical feasibility studies. SIA is also a collaborator in Project Spunta, the ABI’s blockchain-based interbank settlement layer.
While the project is focusing on an experimental digital euro, there are no indications of any involvement by Italy’s central bank. Alternatively, other collaborators such as digital services outfit Reply and consulting giant PwC are named as partners in the pilot study.
A spokesperson for ABI told Cointelegraph:
“The aim of the initiative is to proactively contribute to public debate and support banks operating in Italy as they prepare for the future. It doesn’t aim to anticipate the [European Central Bank] decision on the adoption of a digital currency but rather to explore possible use cases and reflect on the implications of its possible implementation beforehand.”
In December, an ECB official stated the bank’s consideration phase for a digital euro could go well into 2021. In fact, previous reports showed that a regional central bank digital currency was at least five years away from being created.