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  • Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have surged over the last few weeks, boosted by positive news and the outcome of U.S. election. Now, bitcoin and crypto watchers are braced ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) two-day annual forum.

    The bitcoin price has also climbed after central banks around the world, like the U.S. Federal Reserve last month, have signalled they are looking into digitalizing their currencies, potentially opening up the bitcoin and crypto market to millions.

    Now, bitcoin and crypto experts are braced ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) two-day annual forum, beginning today—with ECB president Christine Lagarde, who last month said the ECB “should be prepared to issue a digital euro,” set to speak about the “implications of fundamental global changes for central banks.”

    Lagarde will open this year’s online event and is going to be joined by Fed chairman Jerome Powell and Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, with globalization, climate change and digitalization on the agenda.

    Cryptocurrency investors will be on the look out for remarks from senior central bankers as to how central bank digital currency (CBDC) research and development is progressing and how governors expect them to impact existing digital currencies, such as bitcoin.

    “Central bank digital currencies will be a net positive for bitcoin,” Richard Paulsen, the chief executive of Oslo-based Arcane Media and Research said, explaining how he expects CBDCs to affect bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets and use.

    “The structure of a CBDC, in the retail markets, will definitely be in the form of a token. This also means that for it to work as a payment method, payments solutions have to be changed from today’s analogue world, to a truly digital one. This will make it much easier for e-commerce to switch between CBDCs and bitcoin on each individual transaction.”

    Last month, Lagarde said she needed to make “sure the euro is fit for the digital age,” in a statement alongside an ECB announcement that it was “[intensifying] its work on a digital euro.”

    CBDCs have made headlines among central bankers over the last few years, with Facebook’s plans for its bitcoin-inspired libra cryptocurrency pushing countries around the world into action amid fears a popular private digital currency could undermine monetary policy.

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