Euro digital ousted by wholesale CBDC

The Governor of the Banque de France announces start of experiments European in favor of a wholesale digital currencyless controversial and complex that a CBDC retail.

On October 3, the Banque de France hosted a conference on tokenization and central bank digital currencies. An opportunity for its governor, François Villeroy de Galhau, to stress that retail CBDC is not the only option on the table.

France is well advanced in its work on digital currencies wholesale. Visit CBDC wholesale attract less attention and passion, but they are no less important, said the banker.

A wholesale CBDC as a first step

This position also applies toEuropewhich is still considering whether or not to issue a retail MNBC, a digital euro. François Villeroy de Galhau suggests that it should move ahead more quickly on a wholesale version.

Eligibility criteria and the call for expressions of interest for a Euro and wholesale CBDC will be published in the coming weeks, he announced at the conference in Paris. Experiments will be carried out during 2024, notably through real transactions.

These Europe-wide tests are expected to make use of smart contracts, a permissioned network and the DL3S distributed ledger system for securities settlement. However, central banks will also study “alternative” protocols and blockchains.

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Tokenization and CBDC as allies, not competitors

To conclude the conference, Denis Beau, Senior Deputy Governor of the Banque de France, spoke of his conviction in favor of combining CBDC and asset tokenization.

The tokenization of finance will only materialize if these new technologies are anticipated, supported and secured by policymakers and central banks. In short, central bank availability of tokenized money and tokenized assets are allies rather than competitors.”

At the meeting, the head of financial stability and operations at the Banque de France also pleaded in favor of interoperability, “key” for Emmanuelle Assouan. And all the more so as traditional and tokenized finances will have to coexist.

Tokenized financing is promising, but the road to full tokenization is a long one. We need to remain pragmatic and recognize that conventional and new systems will coexist,” she declared.

And in this finance of tomorrow, “central bank money must continue to ensure stability and security, even in a tokenized ecosystem”.

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