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Central bank experiments with CBDC will drive securities onto blockchain

Fear of Chinese advances with programmable money and Facebook’s Libra are pushing central banks to digital currencies, which may transform financial markets.


At the end of October, Societe Generale – Forge, the digital capital markets platform of the Societe Generale Group, selected ConsenSys to provide technology and services as part of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot activities.

SocGen wants to build on recent achievements such as the €100 million covered bond it issued as a digital native security token in 2019 and the €40 million covered bond that was settled with CBDC in a joint project with the Banque de France in May.

That was the first example of wholesale securities settlement against cash in the form of CBDC issued by a G7 central bank. However, it mostly took place in a closed loop between different organizations in the Societe Generale Group working on a single technology stack.

Jean-Marc Stenger, chief executive of Societe Generale – Forge, tells Euromoney: “We set up Societe Generale – Forge three years ago because we saw coming a fundamental transformation of securities markets onto blockchain infrastructure that brings greater security, speed and efficiency at lower cost.

We thought the transformation might take 10 years, but that timeframe is now shortening
Jean-Marc Stenger, Societe Generale – Forge

“We thought the transformation might take 10 years, but that timeframe is now shortening.”