France’s central bank said Tuesday it will push ahead with the second phase of its experiment with a digital euro with the aim of rolling out the cryptocurrency next year.
Last year, the Banque de France successfully completed the first stage of its experiment with a central bank digital currency.
“We’d like to get to a viable prototype, test it in practice with more private actors and more central banks in the second half of this year and next year,” Banque de France chief Francois Villeroy de Galhau told a conference.
The goal was to introduce a digital euro “as a means of settlement in 2023”, he said.
While the central bank digital currencies share much of the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, there are also major differences.
A central bank digital currency is the digital form of the official currency and its value does not fluctuate against that currency.
Most cryptocurrencies are decentralised and offer anonymity of transactions, while a central bank digital currency is centralised and regulated, and the parties to transactions are known.
Use of a central bank digital currency can also be limited to settlement between banks, or for the general public.
Given the staggering rise in unregulated cryptocurrencies, a number of central banks around the world are pursuing digital currency projects.