one of the partners chosen by the ECB is debated

While the digital euro is still in its investigation phase, the ECB called on Amazon, alongside four other players, to develop prototypes of user interfaces. The presence of this Web giant in this list has revived the debate on Europe’s dependence on the United States.

Amazon is one of the players selected by the ECB

Friday, the European Central Bank (ECB)unveiled the five players who will take part in work on the digital euro, and Amazon is among the successful candidates. It is an announcement that did not fail to react on questions of sovereignty.

The work in question will consist of developing prototypes for user interfaces of this euro-digital. As part of its investigation phase, the ECB launched a “call for expressions of interest” last April. Among the 54 candidates, here are the five entities selected:

  • The Spanish banking company CaixaBank;
  • Italian payment specialist Nexi;
  • The French multinational Wolrdline, also a payment specialist;
  • The European Payments Initiative (EPI);
  • And Amazon.

The latter will be responsible for proposing a solution focused on payment in e-commerce. Part of the community was reluctant to see the Web giant on this list. Indeed, this brings up to date the debate on European sovereignty, as well as this technological dependence on American actors.

👉 To go further – Find our guide to central bank digital currencies (MNBC)

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Concerns about European sovereignty

For part of the crypto community, privacy and full possession of their money are key concepts. In order to put words to this feeling, Cryptoast went to meet Nicolas Cantu, founder and CEO of 4NK, which develops digital sovereignty solutions.

Thus, the entrepreneur informed us of his concern about the seizure of large centralized players :

“In a digital age, upstream and downstream governance is digital first. In the absence of encryption by users, the exploitation of metadata is the source of the superiority of GAMAMs on electronic networks. Here, it is a question of operating the e-payment part which would be retained for Amazon. That is to say the entire flow of information and its prioritization, and technically conditions access via Amazon’s APIs. »

He goes on to recall that such choices of dependency have already been done in the past :

“It is a major risk for the safety of people, but also, after Visa, Mastercard, and SWIFT, Europe is making itself totally dependent on the United States. Both in the knowledge of its own economy and in exposing the populations to price regulations by the legal fees and conditions of the infrastructures according to the rules of the United States. »

Regarding SWIFT, while it is true that it is a European player, its operation depends, in part, on foreign third parties. On the other hand, the SWIFT II agreement offers the US government access to these banking data.

Nicolas Cantu also points out that many cryptocurrencies suffer from a similar addiction, referring to validation nodes hosted by Web2 giants. According to him, only Bitcoin (BTC) stands against the current, thanks to the lightness of its complete nodes allowing maintenance in complete independence.

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The continuation of the investigation phase

If all these apprehensions are legitimate and raise real questions, remember that nothing is decided yet. It should be noted in particular that the other players designated alongside Amazon by the ECB are indeed European.

Moreover, this work will only be prototypes in this phase of investigation, in the construction of this digital euro. This means that there is no guarantee that Amazon will be retained last.

However, it is true that in an increasingly digitized area, such an announcement has something generate apprehension. If one of the arguments against MNBCs is privacy concerns, it is not certain that giving this access to a web giant eases these tensions.

👉 Read also – The Governor of the Banque de France shares his vision of a European MNBC

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Source: ECB

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