European Central Bank

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European Central Bank
Founded 1998
Headquarters Frankfurt, Germany
Key People Mario Draghi, President
Employees Approx. 1,400
Twitter @ecb
LinkedIn Profile
Website ECB Homepage

The European Central Bank (ECB) conducts monetary policy for the euro, the common currency for 16 of the member states of the European Union (EU). The ECB, second only to the U.S. Federal Reserve in the ranks of global central banks, works with the euro-area's national central banks in the Eurosystem partnership that enacts ECB policy.

The ECB's primary function is to maintain price stability and safeguard the value of the euro. The ECB has a monopoly on the issue of bank notes in the euro area. It influences the amount of money in the market by controlling money available to central and commercial banks in EU member states. The ECB makes weekly announcements on the amount of money it wishes to supply and the minimum acceptable interest rate. Eligible banks that have given collateral place their bids for the ECB funds through an auction, and once they have the funds, they use them to advance loans to individuals and businesses.

The ECB is responsible for banking supervision in all the EU member states.[1]


In May 2019, the European Central Bank published a paper describing the findings of the ECB Crypto-Assets Task Force's analysis on cryptocurrency and its potential impact on the existing financial systems of Europe. According to the report, the task force analyzed the trade volume, adoption of merchants, the volatility of the price of digital assets, regulation, and other qualities of the technology. It concluded that crypto in its current form has no “tangible impact on the real economy” or on monetary policy of the European Union. The report also said that "the absence of central bank backing and the limited acceptance among merchants prevent crypto-assets from being currently used as substitutes for cash and deposits," and that the cumulative value of all cryptoassets is relatively small compared to the established financial systems of the world. It also said that any risks the technology may pose are at this time “limited and/or manageable on the basis of the existing regulatory and oversight frameworks.”[2][3]

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