A few months ago, the Banque de France issued a call for participants for a wholesale or institutional central bank digital currency trial, for the clearing and settlement of tokenized digital assets.
Today it announced the participants will be Accenture, Euroclear, HSBC, fund management platform Iznes, Liquidshare, ProsperUS, Seba Bank and Société Générale (SocGen) Forge. Two months ago the Banque de France said it completed a wholesale CBDC test transaction with Société Générale on Ethereum for a €40 million covered bond. And Liquidshare, which plans to tokenize SME shares, is backed by SocGen as well as Euroclear, BNP Paribas and Euronext.
The Bank says the trial will involve three aspects. The exchange of CBDC for digital assets or crypto-assets, to test “the rules” in CBDC for cross border payments, and revisit the process of distributing central bank digital currency. The results will be shared.
“I see a certain interest to move quickly on the issue of at least a wholesale MDBC (French for CBDC) to be the first issuer at the international level and thus derive the benefits reserved for a reference MDBC,” the Bank’s Governor Villeroy de Galhau told Le Echos last year.
A new BIS Innovation Hub for Europe was recently set up with the hosts including the Banque de France, Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Central Bank (ECB).
Accenture is also working with the ECB in its trials, which recently reported attempts to balance CBDC anonymity with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism (CFT) requirements. Additionally, the consultants are working with Canada, Singapore and Sweden’s central banks. In the U.S., it’s part of the private non profit Digital Dollar Project.
The European Central Bank has the primary responsibility for currency within the Eurozone. Other European state central banks have also lobbied to get involved in CBDC trials, including Italy and the Netherlands. Lithuania has even issued a digital collectible currency.