The European Union is preparing to release draft rules to provide a legal foundation for a digital euro. The digital euro is expected for retail uses from around 2026 at the earliest if it is approved by the European Central Bank (ECB) in October. The draft rules suggest the digital euro, while not programmable, will offer greater efficiency of retail payment and a high level of privacy. The digital euro would initially serve residents and visitors in the euro area. The ECB may also limit digital holdings for each individual between €3,000 and €4,000. If enacted, the digital euro is expected to reduce EU’s reliance on non-EU payment firms like Mastercard and Visa.