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French Central Bank official calls for blockchain to improve financial system

Oliver Knight

The French Central Bank should begin to use blockchain technology to improve settlements and payments in Europe, according to the bank’s first deputy governor Denis Beau.

Speaking at the AFME Annual Capital Markets Technology and Innovation Conference on Thursday, Beau said that the implementation of distributed ledger technology can answer market demands.

“The tokenisation of financial assets combined with the recourse to blockchain-based solutions and more broadly distributed ledger technologies to store and transfer those assets could help answer market demands,” Beau said.

He added: “We at the Banque de France are therefore quite open for experiments in that direction, together with the ECB and other central banks of the Eurosystem, in particular with regard to a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency.”

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have been a hot topic among leading governments across the globe over the past year. China has plans to launch its own currency later this year, while South Korea is also investigating the potential benefits.

Last month, Beau also stated that traditional banking systems could face a number of changes in light of innovation from the fintech and blockchain industries.

On October 16, he said: “With the emergence of crypto-assets and stablecoins, we may also see new settlement assets develop which may compete against and possibly, according to their promoters, replace commercial and central bank money as settlement assets at the center of our payment systems.”

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