The Banque de France is accelerating its wholesale CBDC programme as it bids to be ready to bring in central bank money as a settlement asset as early as 2023.
Over the past year, the French central bank has worked with the private sector to carry out nine experiments that have helped show how a CBDC can be used for wholesale payments, including cross-border and cross-currency payments and securities settlement.
The bank has built its own DLT technology as well as an automated market maker platform inspired from the DeFi markets, which could serve as the basis of a multi-CBDC platform where different central banks come together to enable fast, automated and transparent settlement across currencies.
Now, new experiments are under way, says François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France: "We want to get closer to a viable prototype, testing it in practice with more private actors and more foreign central banks in the second half of 2022 and in 2023.
"This work ensures that we stand ready to bring central bank money as a settlement asset as early as 2023, with the implementation of the European pilot regime. This pilot regime will offer a regulatory framework to support the financial asset tokenisation trend."