France's central bank selects eight candidates for digital currency experiments

The Banque de France, France's central bank, revealed Monday that it had selected eight applicants as part of a wide-ranging effort to test digital currency solutions.

In a July 20 statement, the central bank said that the experiments would cover a number of areas — though notably not the realm of crypto-asset transfer — and would commence "in the coming days." The list of candidates includes several major banks among other firms:

  • Accenture
  • Euroclear
  • HSBC
  • Iznes
  • LiquidShare
  • ProsperUS
  • Seba Bank
  • Societe Generale's Forge

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"The experiments proposed by the selected candidates will allow (i) to explore new methods of exchanging financial instruments (excluding crypto-assets) for central bank money, (ii) to test the regulation in digital central bank money in order to improve the conditions for carrying out cross-border payments and (iii) revisit the arrangements for making central bank money available," the Banque said in a translated statement.

The Block previously reported on the French central bank's testing of a digital euro. The Banque du France conducted that experiment with Societe Generale, one of the new program's participants. Societe Generale has pursued a number of blockchain-focused projects, including the tokenization of assets, as reported by The Block's Yogita Khatri.

In its July 20 statement, the Banque de France noted (as translated): "The lessons learned from these experiments will constitute a direct contribution to the more global reflection led by the Eurosystem on the interest of a central bank digital currency."