Banque de France moves from conceptual CBDC trials to market trials: deputy governor

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The Banque de France has moved from conceptual and academic experiments with the central bank’s digital currency to field trials, a senior executive confirmed. The central bank has completed a pilot test with one of the largest banks and is planning eight more in the coming months.

Banque de France Senior Vice Governor Denis Beau revealed the progress of the CBDC at the Paris Blockchair Week Summit 2020. Beau told the audience that the bank had conducted tests on the feasibility of a CBDC , while striving to preserve the anchor role of the central silver bank.

“The way we experiment with CBDCs for wholesale transactions perfectly illustrates our choice to move from conceptual and academic considerations to field experiences, hand in hand with market players, using a pragmatic working method, for trial and error. ”

The Banque du France seeks to determine how a CBDC can improve the fluidity and efficiency of payment and settlement systems.

Beau said that in May, the bank conducted its first experiment with a CBDC, working with France’s third-largest bank, Société Générale. The experiment allowed the central bank to test three stages of a digital transaction: the tokenization of a security, the digital representation on a blockchain and the settlement of a transaction on the blockchain.

The Banque du France has aligned eight other experiments with the CBDC, according to Beau. These experiments will allow the bank to familiarize itself with fundamentals such as “methods of exchanging financial instruments for CBDCs, improving conditions for executing cross-border payments or new ways of making CBDCs available. actors of the financial sector ”.

These experiments will allow the bank to assess whether it needs to change its regulatory framework for digital payments.

In addition to its local trials, the central bank has also actively participated in the CBDC’s experiments with the European Commercial Bank. As CoinGeek reported, ECB President Christine Lagarde predicted that the bank would launch a digital euro in 2.4 years.

Beau revealed that the ECB has asked central banks in the euro region to be prepared to issue a CBDC “if the circumstances require”. This would “ensure that the central bank’s currency is accessible to the general public and preserves its freedom of choice of means of payment and its confidence in our currency”.

As the European region struggles to find consensus on a regional CBDC, China is making major strides in its digital yuan trials. In its most recent trial, the PBoC pioneered tap payments which use near-field technology to enable payments without an internet connection.

See also: CoinGeek Live panel on the future of banking, financial products and blockchain

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