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France now testing a blockchain-based CBDC for bonds

Banque de France

The central bank of France has used blockchain-based digital assets for bond transactions in a 10-month trial.

The pilot was led by the Belgian firm Euroclear and was technically supported by IBM. The trial was completed by Banque de France and involved over 500 institutions. 

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“We have together successfully been able to measure the inherent benefits of this technology, concluding that the central bank digital currencies can settle central bank money safely and securely.”

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The participants of the project traded government bonds and security tokens. They settled them using a central bank digital currency. The latter was supplied by Banque de France and involved activities like issuing bonds and many more.

“This project went well beyond previous blockchain initiatives because it successfully tested most central securities depository and central bank processes whilst eliminating current interim steps, such as reconciliation between market intermediaries.”

The trial went very well. But this wasn’t the central bank’s first approach to digital assets. Back in July, Banque de France conducted its fifth CBDC experiment. It collaborated with BNP Paribas Securities Services, CIC Market Solutions, and many others.

This phase of the trial tested the integration “of issuance and settlement activities, including exchanges on the secondary market.”

“The experiment involved the simulation on a private blockchain of the issuance and settlement of unlisted securities and the settlement of listed securities. Settlements of securities were simulated by central bank digital currency issued on the blockchain.”

The initiative of LiquidShare also gathered other institutions. Axa Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Securities Services, CACEIS Bank, CIC Market Solutions, Crédit Agricole Titres, and Euroclear. 

Euronext, Kriptown, La Banque Postale, Caisse des Dépôts, ODDO BHF, ODDO BHF AM, OFI AM and Société Générale Securities Services were also involved.

Banque de France also collaborated with the central bank of Switzerland in June and focused on bank-to-bank transactions. “Project Jura” represents the first plan where two CBDCs are being tested together.

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