Euro currency sign at ECB

ECB expands PISA framework to cover digital currencies and stablecoins

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has approved a new oversight framework to cover electronic payments, including digital currencies and stablecoins. The bank revealed that this framework would complement forthcoming European Union (EU) regulations on digital currencies.

In its press release, the ECB revealed that it was replacing its current Eurosystem oversight approach to keep up with developments in finance and technology. The new electronic payment instruments, schemes and arrangement (PISA) framework will also cover direct debits, credit transfers, payment cards, and e-money transfers.

On digital currencies, the extended PISA framework will cover “crypto-asset-related services, such as the acceptance of crypto-assets by merchants within a card payment scheme and the option to send, receive or pay with crypto-assets via an electronic wallet.”

The Germany-based ECB, led by former IMF chief Christine Lagarde, revealed that the EU plans to launch new regulations for the digital currency industry and that the PISA framework will complement the forthcoming regulations. In addition, the framework is in line with global standards for stablecoins, a sector that regulators are keeping a keen eye on.

The ECB hasn’t been as accommodating of digital currencies. Lagarde has called on authorities to regulate BTC, which according to her, “is a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”

ECB board member Fabio Panetta has been just as critical of digital currencies. In an interview earlier this year, he described BTC as “a very dangerous animal that’s used for criminal activities.” He believes that only the digital euro can save the region from BTC.

Commenting on the latest move by the ECB, Panetta described it as “a forward-looking approach in overseeing digital payment solutions.”

He added, “The PISA framework will include digital payment tokens such as stablecoins, alongside traditional payment instruments and schemes we have gained experience in over the years. Internationally coordinated action will also have to be stepped up to cope with the challenges posed by global digital payment solutions and stablecoins.”

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