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European Central Bank Finalizes Digital Currency Prototypes

The European Central Bank (ECB) has finalized prototypes for a digital Euro currency.

The prototypes come ahead of a decision later this year on whether to proceed with a digital currency for the European Union (EU).

The central bank says the potential digital currency could help boost innovation, though some politicians have expressed concerns about the use of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts related to a digital Euro.

Development of the digital currency prototypes has also attracted controversy because of the involvement of U.S. technology giant Amazon (AMZN).

Central bank officials have sought to downplay Amazon’s involvement, saying that the digital currency prototypes will be discarded and not used further following their review.

The European Central Bank favors a centralized model for the digital Euro based on unspent transaction outputs, or UTXO, that are widely used in cryptocurrency transactions.

In June, the European Commission is scheduled to publish legislation covering privacy safeguards and other issues related to a digital Euro.

The European Union is one of many jurisdictions around the world considering a digital currency, including Canada