On July 20, French central bank, Banque De France, announced it had settled on eight candidates in its efforts to experiment digital currency solutions.
As per the press statement, the central bank stated that the experiment trials will cover a wide range of areas, but notably not in the crypto-asset transfer sphere, and will start “in the coming days.”
The selected candidates comprise renowned names in the banking and fintech industries such as HSBC, Accenture, Societe Generale, Seba Bank, LiquidShareEuroclear, Iznes and ProsperUS.
The announcement comes months after the central bank called for applications from reputable firms to experiment the utilization of digital euros that was advertised in March. During the advertisement stage, the central bank stated it was going to pick maximumly 10-CBDC-related apps with the main selection criteria being “innovative nature.”
The institution stated that it will work with individual players to experiment their proposals in efforts to examine “fresh methods of exchanging financial instruments.” In addition, the trial phase will also seek to explore the best ways of distributing CBDC as well as how they can be used for international payments.
Notably, the central bank seems to be interested in the wholesale use of CBDC as opposed to retail usage for the digital euro which means that the CBDC might be created for “interbank regulations as opposed for consumer use.
France has been pushing for the use of digital euro in Europe and in May, it launched a successful digital euro use on the blockchain in partnership with Societe Generale.
Although the bank clarified that the proposals are exclusively experimental, it however explained that the findings will be helpful to similar CBDC experimentations within the larger eurozone which will form the basics for a digital euro.
Although France seems to be at the forefront in pushing a digital euro, other countries in Europe are also at advanced stages to come up with a digital euro as well. For instance, the Italian Banking Association (ABI) has created guidelines to guide the development of a CBDC while the Dutch central bank has said it is willing to be the testing ground for a digital euro.