“Investing in cryptocurrencies is very dangerous, this is another world,” says the CEO of the company that created the first digital euro authorized by the Bank of Spain.
- MONEI, a fintech that simplifies and streamlines digital payments, has created EURM, the first digital euro authorized by the Bank of Spain.
- It is a stable currency with 1:1 parity with the euro, which has just entered its testing phase.
- MONEI’s CEO, Álex Saiz, stresses that it has nothing to do with traditional cryptocurrencies, which he predicts will never become an everyday means of payment.
Álex Saiz Verdaguer, CEO and founder of MONEI, emphasizes that the EURM, the first digital euro authorized by the Bank of Spain, is not a cryptocurrency. It is another world, he says, and this is something that must be emphasized from the outset.
At a time like the present, of growing distrust in the cryptographic system, caused by the bankruptcy of some large companies that thought they were untouchable, emphasizing the differences is an obligation for Saiz, whose company was the first to receive the Bank of Spain’s approval for the creation of this digital version of the euro.
What is the EURM?
The EURM is a stablecoin with 1:1 parity with the euro. It has been created on the Ethereum blockchain because of the great penetration and potential that the smart contracts part of this blockchain has, explains MONEI’s CEO.
This company, which is a fintech “that simplifies and streamlines digital payments”, has been working on this project for 2 years: “And they did not give us the go-ahead at the first time, we had to modulate the offer a lot. We have worked internally and also in conversations with the Bank of Spain,” says its founder.
It is totally free and to use it, all that is needed is a cell phone to put the tokens into use. Each EURM will represent one physical euro, the total of which will be held in two safekeeping accounts at BBVA and Caixabank.
Although authorized by the Bank of Spain, Saiz stresses that “it is not the official digital euro, since this will have to be promoted by the European Central Bank”. However, although he makes it clear that it is too early to make such statements, he maintains that “it is likely that both currencies will merge in the future”.
It has just entered a testing phase, in which its use will be restricted to individuals, and not to companies or the Administration. They want to check, Saiz points out, whether it can withstand 100,000 transactions per second and also to deepen the measures to prevent money laundering.
If all goes well, they are confident that it can be in official circulation within 6 to 12 months.
Euro Vs EURM
What is the difference between paying with EURM and paying online with the traditional euro? In reality, says Saiz, there will be many people who will not even realize that they are moving EURM and not euros.
The traditional euro, he continues, moves along traditional rails, and this one moves along much more modern and secure ones (which are those of the blockchain), but the consumer will still see the euro symbol, “it is very likely that the user experience will be the same as it is today”.
It is the same, but without being the same, why? First of all, details its creator, because it is immutable, a transaction cannot be modified, “if right now 2 people transfer money to each other, there are 2 interlocutors: the banks of each of the people; with the digital euro there will be billions of points that will certify that transaction”.
The other big difference, he concludes, “is the enormous technological potential it has”.
It may be this digital euro, the Bank of Spain’s or the European Central Bank’s, but Saiz is very clear that “our children will use digital euros. I have no doubt about that”.
They are not cryptocurrencies
That generalization in the use of the digital euro that Saiz predicts, leaves out conventional cryptocurrencies. They do not have parity with a stable currency, they are very volatile, “it is a structural problem they have. We have been with bitcoin or ethereum for many years now and there is not a single specific case in the world of payments with cryptocurrencies.”
“Investing in cryptocurrencies is very dangerous, whoever wants to gamble, but I recommend buying shares of Disney, Microsoft or an apartment. Stablecoins are something else: it’s using technology and giving a very robust legal and regulatory framework to the user.”
That is another of the big differences between the digital euro and cryptocurrencies, he emphasizes: “Here there is a regulator that supervises and certifies that everything is done well. It has the backing of an entity that protects the consumer. This is not the case with cryptocurrencies, where they are left to their own devices”.