François Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of France’s central bank has said the country is looking to be the first to issue a digital currency, while speaking to the French regulator for banks and insurance, the ACPR.
“We intend to start experimenting quickly and launch a call for projects (for private sector players) by the end of the first quarter of 2020.”
The anticipated digital currency is set to initially be used between banks rather than by citizens, as according to Villeroy a digital currency for retail would require “special vigilance.”
He further said: “”Thresholds on the amounts of anonymous transactions, as is already done in France for payments in electronic money or cash, could be introduced for this purpose,”
The Governor said there are three advantages to building a digital euro. It could guarantee customer access to central bank money, where cash is losing ground. Secondly, it could be more efficient to tokenize the euro, particularly for settlement and post-market activities. Thirdly, it would keep the sovereignity of central banks in light of rivals like Facebook‘s Libra.
Facebook Libra is also currently gathering more popularity and outreach than most existing cryptocurrencies.
Banque De France tweeted:
“« Je vois un intérêt à avancer rapidement sur l’émission d’au moins une monnaie digitale de banque centrale de gros afin d’être le 1e émetteur au niveau international et tirer les bénéfices réservés à une monnaie digitale de banque centrale de référence », F. Villeroy de Galhau”
The English translation goes thus: “”I see an interest in rapidly advancing the issuance of at least one wholesale central bank digital currency in order to be the leading issuer internationally and derive the profits earmarked for a reference central bank digital currency”, F. Villeroy de Galhau”