The European Central Bank (ECB) has completed a public consultation on the digital euro. Over 8,000 people and organizations participated in the discussion, which was a record for such public discussions from the ECB, the regulator said.

According to a preliminary analysis of the data obtained, most consider the most important characteristic of the digital euro to be privacy. This is followed by the safety and availability of the asset throughout the EU.

The final results of the data analysis will be published in the spring. They will be an “important input” in the decision to launch the digital euro.

The ECB stressed that the new asset if issued, will be a supplement to cash, not a replacement.

Earlier, the head of the ECB Christine Lagarde said that the launch of the digital euro could take no more than five years, and called bitcoin a speculative asset subject to regulation.