While the Bank of Spain explores the potential adoption of a digital euro, it appears that the country’s populace may not share the same level of enthusiasm for the European Central Bank’s digital currency project.
The Bank of Spain recently conducted a survey titled “Study on the habits in use of cash,” in collaboration with Ipsos, which involved 1,600 respondents from two groups: the general public and representatives of small businesses.
The survey also included questions about the digital euro, a proposed pan-European central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The survey findings revealed that only 20% of the general public were aware of the concept of a “digital euro.” A similar percentage, around 23%, among small business owners were aware of it.
However, it’s worth noting that these questions were posed in 2022.
In 2023, only 20% of respondents confirmed their intention to use the digital euro alongside their existing payment methods, while a significant 65% expressed their reluctance to do so.
This marks a shift from the previous year when the numbers were more favorable to the CBDC, with only 58% responding negatively in 2022.
The survey also highlighted varying levels of interest in the digital euro based on age groups. The youth demographic (18–24) displayed the most enthusiasm, with 36% indicating their willingness to use the digital currency.
However, this enthusiasm gradually waned with age, with 31% of those aged 25–34, 24% of those aged 35–44, 18% of those aged 55–64, and a mere 7% of individuals over 65 expressing interest in the digital euro.
The Bank of Spain has been proactive in promoting the digital euro’s potential benefits. In October, they released a document explaining the nature and applications of the digital euro.
The bank emphasized that physical cash limitations hinder the full exploitation of the advantages offered by the growing digitalization of the economy and society.
They believe that the digital euro will play a vital role in making electronic payments an integral part of the financial system.
It’s worth noting that Spain has demonstrated a strong commitment to the European Union’s digital economy initiatives, having decided to implement the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA), a pan-European crypto framework, six months ahead of the general deadline.
Despite the current hesitancy, the future of the digital euro in Spain may evolve as awareness and understanding of the concept increase.