The central bank of France plans to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for financial institutions in 2020.
The central bank of France plans to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for financial institutions in 2020. @nityn @yolobro @B21Official @B21Official_jp https://t.co/r1BhFPUDCP — B21 (@B21Official) December 5, 2019
On December 4, it has been reported by Les Echos, a French financial publication, that François Villeroy de Galhau, the Governor of the Bank of France, announced that the bank will start testing the digital euro project by the end of the first quarter 2020.
However, the Bank of France confirmed the news on Twitter by noting that the announcement was made at a conference, which was co-hosted by two major French financial regulators, the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority and the Autorité des marchés financiers.
Autre sujet crucial : l’éventuelle création d’une monnaie digitale de banque centrale. « Nous devons apporter notre pierre à l’édifice de cette innovation, mais de manière sérieuse et méthodique », François Villeroy de Galhau à la conférence de l’#ACPR cc @ACPR_actu — Banque de France (@banquedefrance) December 4, 2019
According to the report, digital euro-pilot will only target private financial sector players and will not involve retail payments made by individuals.
Likewise, Villeroy reportedly noted that digital currency for retail customers would “be subject to special vigilance.”
As reported by Les Echos, while ensuring trust in the currency, the initiative intends to strengthen the efficiency of the French financial system.
However, his stance falls in line with previous statements by Bruno Le Maire, the Finance Minister of France, who argued that regulators cannot allow the launch of Libra on European soil due to monetary sovereignty concerns.
So, according to some reports, France led the anti-Libra effort alongside Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.
« Je vois un intérêt à avancer rapidement sur l’émission d’au moins une monnaie digitale de banque centrale de gros afin d’être le 1e émetteur au niveau international et tirer les bénéfices réservés à une monnaie digitale de banque centrale de référence », F. Villeroy de Galhau — Banque de France (@banquedefrance) December 4, 2019
“I see the interest in rapidly advancing the issuance of at least one central bank digital currency in order to be the leading issuer globally and get the benefits associated with providing an exemplary central bank digital currency.”
In the meantime, France has appeared to be at the forefront of adopting crypto and blockchain technology as its government has initiated and encouraged a number of industry-related projects.
However, in late November 2019, the first deputy governor of the Bank of France called for blockchain-based settlements and payment systems in Europe.
As it has been reported on November 20, the French Armies and Gendarmerie’s Information and Public Relations Center was validating judicial expenses incurred during investigations on the Tezos (XTZ) blockchain at the time.
Thus, it has been analyzed that 30 French retailers plan to launch Bitcoin payments support at over 25,000 sales points by early 2020.