The Bank of France will launch next year experiments to develop a "central bank digital currency" (MDBC) dedicated to transactions "wholesale", ie to very high amounts, announced Wednesday his governor François Villeroy from Galhau.
A "digital euro"
The institution wants to start experiments "quickly" and launch a call for projects by the end of the first quarter of 2020, he said at a conference in Paris. This initiative by the French central bank will be a first in the euro zone. Its goal will be to eventually develop a "digital euro", explained the Banque de France. Specifically, it would be a euro in digital form whose transmission mechanisms could be based on technologies such as blockchain or block chains.
The French experiment will participate "in the study of a possible 'e-euro'" carried by the Eurosystem, a subject already mentioned Monday before the European Parliament by the new president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, developed François Villeroy de Galhau. A digital central bank currency at European level would "have a powerful lever for asserting our sovereignty against private initiatives like Libra," he defended.
A response to JPMorgan?
Last June, Facebook had the wrath of many governments in the world announcing want to launch in 2020 its own cryptocurrency, backed by a basket of currencies. Since the giant social networks had to revisit its ambitions downward against the reluctance of the authorities and regulators, including US, and the defections of corporate partners to accompany it in this project. In addition to Facebook, US bank JPMorgan, the world's first, also announced in February the next launch of JPM Coin, backed by the dollar and reserved for institutional investors.
According to the French central banker, a virtual European currency could achieve "efficiency gains", reduce "intermediation costs" but also give the possibility "to exchange its assets against legal tender" .