The European Central Bank (ECB) will answer questions about Bitcoin and Blockchain as part of a series of youth dialogues. Mario Draghi, the bank’s president, will host the dialogue through web videos on February, 12.
Europeans between the ages of 16 and 35 can submit questions up until 12:00 CET on January, 23. The Youth Dialogue will center around three issues: cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, youth unemployment, and the state of the global economy. Questions can be sent via Twitter or Facebook. Use the hashtags #AskDraghi or #ECBYouthDialogue. The ECB will post the the videos on both of their social media pages, as well as at debatingeurope.eu. Debating Europe is an online platform where civilians can debate key issues with European politicians and leaders.
The discussions will explore how advances in technology could reshape financial markets, the effects of the ongoing economic recovery, and deep-rooted problems in labor market structures responsible for high youth unemployment rates. The dialogue will also address the ECB’s view on bitcoin as an alternative to government-backed currencies.
The main purpose of the European Central Bank is to ensure the purchasing power and stability of the Euro, the single currency used by 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union. The currency is used by over 300 million Europeans. The bank also provides educational services to students and young people. The goal is to teach them about key economic topics, like inflation and price stability, and to educate them on the basic mechanisms of central banking. In addition to the Youth Dialogues, the bank also offers interactive games and other learning resources. The hope is that bringing together young people from diverse countries and cultural backgrounds will help encourage productivity and innovation in Europe’s youth.
The European Central Bank has a mostly benevolent stance on digital currencies. According to their site, “The ECB supports innovation if the developments are safe and efficient and open the same opportunities to everyone in Europe. The Bank does not use Blockchain technology in its own system, but expresses a willingness to consider using it in the future as the technology matures. The bank operates a system in which it facilitates the movement of money and assets around the European Union: “We want these systems to be as efficient as possible, and for that reason we also look for ways to make improvements, while still ensuring reliability as technology advances.”
Blockchain is a tool for documenting ownership via a database of transactions distributed across a network of computers. In the case of Blockchain, the transactions are grouped together in blocks. The blocks link together in sequential order to form a chain. An intricate mathematical algorithm protects the chain. It is the algorithms that the Central Bank finds interesting. If the algorithms are complex enough, they create a level of security that could help safeguard against fraud.