The Bank of France has announced eight financial institutions who would take part in its experiment to test central bank digital currency as functional means of trading.
The participants selected include, consulting giant Accenture ACN, Euroclear, a Belgium-based financial services company, Iznes, a blockchain-powered record-keeping platform for funds, the HSBC bank, Etheruem platform LiquidShare, little-known startup, ProsperUS, crypto bank Seba, and Forge, Societe Generale’s digital capital markets spinoff.
According to the announcement Bank of France, which works together with the European Central Bank to determine the monetary policy of the continent, has previously called on applications to experiment with the use of a digital euro.
🗞️[Communiqué] À l’issue du dépouillement des dossiers reçus le 15 mai dernier en réponse à l’appel à candidature pour des expérimentations de #monnaie #digitale de banque centrale, découvrez la liste des 8⃣ candidatures retenues 👉 https://t.co/VTMfBI3JUI #MDBC #Blockchain pic.twitter.com/IyB8OfZsAJ
— Banque de France (@banquedefrance) July 20, 2020
At the time, the institution said it would select a maximum of 10 CBDC-related applications, with “innovative nature” being one of the main selection criteria.
Bank of France specific criteria for CBDC proposals
The Bank of France, in its announcement, laid out specific criteria for the CBDC experiment, explaining that they aim to explore new methods of exchanging financial instruments.
The CBDC experiments will also include testing regulations using digital currency to improve cross-border payments as well as an analysis of how a digital Euro should be made available.
Notably, according to reports, the Bank of France seems to be researching wholesale rather than retail uses for a digital euro. This means the CBDC is being designed for “interbank regulations,” not consumer purposes.
Additionally, the Bank of France also disclosed that crypto-assets such as bitcoin are not included in the financial instruments research.
Other countries joining race for digital currency
While France seems to be leading the supranational race toward launching a CBDC, several countries within the Eurozone continue to vie to pioneer a digital Euro.
Recently, Yves Mersch, the European Central Bank executive board member, stated at industry conference Consensus, that the European Central Bank was one of at least 66 central banks exploring how lessons learned from blockchain could change the very fabric of what we consider money.
Also, Germany’s central bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, and the European Central Bank partnered in co-hosting a new innovation center in Europe within the framework of the Innovation Hub of the Bank for International Settlements.
Meanwhile, Italy, the Italian Banking Association (ABI), has also built a set of guidelines for the incipient CBDC. The Dutch central bank has offered to be the testing ground for the digital Euro.