As the Bank of Spain embraces the potential adoption of a digital euro, the country’s population doesn’t appear to have the same strong appetite for the European Central Bank’s digital currency project.

This emerges from the results of a survey published by the Bank of Spain entitled “Study on the habits in use of cash.” The survey was conducted by Ipsos on two groups, totaling 1,600 respondents: the general public and the representatives of small businesses. It also included questions on the digital euro, a potential pan-EU central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The study revealed that only 20% of the general public knows about a “digital euro.” The number among small businessmen is roughly the same, 23%. However, this question was posed in 2022.

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In 2023, only 20% confirmed that they would use the digital euro to complement their regular payment methods, while 65% said they would not. A year ago, these numbers favored the CBDC more: in 2022, only 58% responded with a “No” to that question.

The age group showing the most enthusiasm for the digital euro is the youth (18-24) — 36% of this cohort said they would use the currency. This proportion gradually declines in age progression: 31% among the age 25-34, 24% among the age 35-44, 18% among the 55-64, and only 7% for those older than 65.

In October, the Bank of Spain published a text explaining the nature and uses of the digital euro. The bank claimed that the physical cash format “does not allow to exploit all the advantages offered by the growing digitalization of the economy and society.” However, the digital euro will make electronic payments a vital piece of the financial system.

Spain has recently demonstrated its firm commitment to the EU cause regarding the digital economy, and has decided to implement the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), a pan-EU crypto framework, six months earlier than the general deadline demands.

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