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How do you see programmable Euro?

Programmable Euro is a flexible and almost independent digital currency. The blockchain has built a brand new digital payment system in which people can conduct barrier-free digital currency transactions or cross-border payments. Moreover, because the blockchain has the characteristics of decentralization, immutability, and trust, it can guarantee the security and reliability of transactions, which will have a disruptive effect on the existing currency system. In this article, we firstly bring programmable Euro to the front, next, we illustrated the basic concept to the important of programmable Euro based on Internet of Things(IoT), Machine to Machine(M2M) and Smart contracts. Serkan Katilmis, Maximilian Forster, Hsiao-En Chen, Ya-Fang Cheng

What is programmable currency/ Euro?

Cryptocurrency could be seen as a type of programmable currencies, and stable coins created by overcoming the key problem, which is volatility, are also included in this category.

Why we need programmable Euro?

The programmable money has been discussed in the past two decades. It contains both positive and negative influences. For example, it proved the feasibility of a self-regulating, global and digital, peer-to-peer payment network and it can also operate without a trusted third-party intermediary (e.g. a bank, credit card company or any payment company). However, it will also increase the concept from the masses that the bank is not necessary to exist in the world.

Libra: a digital currency was launched by Facebook

Facebook’s announcement of its plans to launch a digital currency named Libra within twelve months has attracted considerable attention but also strong opposition worldwide. There are currently 1.7 billion people worldwide without a bank account, accounting for 31% of the global population. In the traditional financial field, cross-border transfers and remittances are cumbersome and take 3–5 business days to complete. And because of the use of cash, the United States has to steal $ 40 billion in cash a year. For those who do not have a bank account, in order to participate in social finance, they must pay a handling fee of more than $ 4 per month. The emergence of Libra stablecoins can allow everyone to participate in the financial world. It has functions that have both the characteristics of blockchain finance and traditional finance, such as stable value, fast transactions, scalability and security. This time Facebook has redefined “money” and changed the global economy.

The response from German banks

About one month ago, the Association of German Banks, representing over 200 private commercial banks and 11 member associations, has proposed the concept of a “programmable digital Euro” in a position paper (Bankenverband 2019). In this paper, it indicated what contribution banks can make towards a sustainable and innovative monetary system, how the general environment should be designed so that banks can operate alongside new competitors, and what is needed to ensure the stability of the financial system.

Industrial 4.0 and Internet of Things(IoT)

When blockchain combined with IoT, at the same time it supported by other enabling technologies such as Big Data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, will further accelerate process automation. It will create new automatized business models and facilitate integrated ecosystems Internet-connected machines, sensors and other everyday items such as cars, televisions, kitchen equipment can interact with each other and therefore form an own ecosystem, to exchange data, and to make intelligent decisions. This innovation has the potential to once again radically change the way we pay and how we store value. This makes it all the more important to achieve a social consensus on how programmable digital Euro can be integrated into the existing financial system. The main burden of this public-policy task rests with central banks, governments, parliaments and regulators. But one thing is certain: banks, in particular, are challenged as well since innovation and digital change will permanently transform their world.

The advantages of programmable Euro

After noticing the rapidly growing trends of programmable Euro, a bunch of curiosities are raised up. We should know what bonuses can programmable Euro bring to us.

Smart contracts and IoT

Smart contracts are computer protocols that depict and verify contract terms. Take an example is they can automatically initiate payments on performance of a transaction. In order to fulfil this action, we need “programmable digital money”. In smart contracts, not only cryptocurrency can be used, but account-based book money can also be exchanged to tokens and be utilized. Thus, there is a programmable and non-programmable digital currency. For example, Libra is a crypto-based, programmable digital money. Programmable digital currency, whether account-based or distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based, will be a key element of the digital transformation and play a major role particularly in connection with smart contracts.

Distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based smart contracts

Since the judgement mechanism and if this/ then else conditions are all written in the smart contracts, it can (for example) let the payment execute automatically and correctly if predetermined terms and conditions are met. There are some unique features that equipped by smart contracts due to blockchain, that is, transparency. They are executed in a deterministic way by third parties and nobody can affect their execution output, they provide means for user authentication and token transfer. However, on the other side, they also come with risks and weaknesses, which are, it cannot be modified, not preserve user privacy and not store or create secret information.

IoT & Machine to Machine(M2M)

More and more appliances are being connected to the Web because of the Internet of Things. Thus, data can be generated, exchanged and processed between machine and machine (M2M) and between machine and person (M2P). This interaction can also be fully automated with the help of smart contracts. A key point in this context is that customer data are encrypted and thus transferred securely, with control over access to the data remaining with the customer. The audibility and availability of historical transaction data can significantly reduce the risk of misuse and cybercrime.


There is no doubt that smart contracts have had a profound impact on the cryptocurrency community, and it can indeed completely change the field of blockchain. Although end users will not directly interact with smart contracts, in the near future, there will be a wider range of applications, ranging from financial services to supply chain management. Smart contracts and blockchains will collectively disrupt almost all areas of our society. But only time will tell if this breakthrough technology is powerful enough to overcome many barriers to eventually mass adoption.


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Bankenverband (2019). German banks say: The economy needs a programmable digital euro. Retrieved from (accessed 25 November).

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