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ECB Executive Board: In response to the rise of bitcoin, commercial banks need to develop faster payment systems

A director of the European Central Bank (ECB) said commercial banks need to develop faster payment systems to counter the rise of cryptocurrencies.

Yves Mersch, a member of the ECB's executive board, made the point in an event in Rome where he also dismissed the impact of cryptocurrencies.

Mersch said in his address this morning:

"Banks need to make immediate payments as quickly as possible and provide an alternative way of explaining the ongoing public debate about the innovations brought by virtual currency."
It is reported that Mersch also said that ECB will use "different digital technologies" to test cash, and more "adventurous applications" are not worth noting.

A month earlier, Benoît Cœuré, another member of the ECB's Executive Board, said the ECB does not ignore cryptocurrencies but instead oversees the use of cryptocurrencies.

Cœuré also gave a long-term view of the ECB that digital currencies will not pose a threat to the euro. "The amount involved in encrypting currencies is negligible."

Although the ECB said so, a ECB report in 2015 said that cryptocurrencies could affect monetary policy and financial stability in the euro zone. At the time, the ECB said bitcoin is more attractive in some areas than traditional financial institutions, such as remittances.

ECB president Mario Draghi recently said they can not oversee bitcoin, though he also claims EU member states can not launch their cryptocurrencies.