France’s central bank is planning to experiment with a digital currency in Q1 2020, according to a new report. 

French financial publication Les Echos reported on Dec. 4 that the central bank of France has plans to test a digital currency for financial institutions in Q1 2020 and beyond. According to the report, Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau announced the development during a speaking event at ACPR, a French regulator for banks and insurance in Paris. 

The Bank of France governor told regulators that their country should seek to innovate in the field of digital currencies, 

We must make our contribution to the building of this innovation, but in a serious and methodical way.

The news was later confirmed by Bank of France’s official Twitter account. 

France’s digital euro pilot will initially target the private financial sector, excluding individuals and retail payments. Villeroy commented that opening the digital currency to the retail sector would involve more strict regulations and “be subject to special vigilance.”

As outlined in the report, the Bank of France seeks to improve the efficiency of the French financial system while getting ahead of competing digital currencies such as Facebook’s libra. 

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