A few days ago Banca d’Italia - Italian Central Bank - published a press release about the creation of the so-called scriptural euros.
Banca d’Italia explained it received a few documents by its customers that attest the autonomous creation of scriptural euros and the use of these amount of money for paying debts or providing payment transactions or issuing credit certificates from the Bank of Italy itself.
This communication comes after fake news that the network has spread about the conviction that European citizens can create currency to pay their debts by sending a simple document from a certified electronic mail to their creditors. The currency created with this process is called scriptural euros.
Banks actually used this kind of accounting currency just before the Euro adoption. At that time, banks were authorized to open accounts in euros and to transact with the currency even if it was not yet in the pockets of Union citizens.
Banca d’Italia explains:
“Taking these initiatives, even in limited numbers, combined with the presence on the web of references to the economic theory of which they are applied, makes it necessary to publish some clarifications in order to avoid dangerous misunderstandings.”
The theory of the autonomous creation of scriptural currency, drawing from the conception of collective property of coins, comes to affirm the possibility for every single citizen to create their own autonomously "scriptural" coins through the accounting records of the amount corresponding to the sum due.
Some advocates of these ideas, active on the web, provide specific modules to be used for the creation of "scriptural euros" and for the communication of the alleged payment to be addressed to creditors and to the Bank of Italy.
So, through this document, Banca d’Italia wants to warn citizens against the creation of this kind of euros, a process that can be only done by banks and financial banks and not by private individuals.
Scriptural euros and Bitcoin
The real concern behind this Banca d’Italia’s document is the possible implication related to digital currencies.
Because the document quoted that only banks have the power to issue money, the danger that this warning may also be applied to cryptocurrencies is not to be underestimated:
“It should be remembered that the provision of payment services through scriptwriting is an activity allowed by law only to authorized persons, such as banks, money institutions and payment institutions.”
That said, we have to remember that Agenzia delle Entrate - the Italian governmental agency that enforces the financial code of Italy - released a few documents related to the legality of Bitcoin, comparing it to a foreign currency, so probably we don’t have to worry about the Bank of Italia’s recent statement.