05.21.2020

First Transaction Settled With Central Bank Digital Currency

On 14 May 2020, Societe Generale SFH, the covered bond vehicle of Societe Generale, issued €40 million of covered bonds (“obligations de financement de l’habitat” or “OFH”)) as security tokens directly registered on a public blockchain. Rated Aaa by Moody’s and AAA by Fitch, these OFH Tokens were fully subscribed by Societe Generale which simultaneously paid the issuer in a digital form of euros issued by Banque de France through a blockchain platform.

This experimentation was performed end-to-end using blockchain infrastructures, in accordance with best market practices. It demonstrates the feasibility of financial securities being digitally settled and delivered in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for interbank settlements. The challenge of this experimentation is to identify how innovative technologies could improve the efficiency and fluidity of payment systems and financial infrastructures, allowing a better financial sector to ensure the smooth financing of the economy. It paves the way for the automation and shortening of payment processes, with simplified market infrastructures and strengthened security.

This transaction follows in the footsteps of an initial issue worth €100 million in security tokens by Societe Generale SFH on 18 April 2019, which was settled in the traditional manner in euros. It seals a new stage in the development of Societe Generale Forge platform, aimed at promoting new blockchain-based market activities.

Innovation is central to Societe Generale Group’s digital transformation. The Group has been involved for several years in numerous initiatives based on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, which could pave the way for the automation and shortening of payment processes, with simplified market infrastructures and strengthened security. This test transaction carried out with the Banque de France is a new step in Societe Generale scaling up in its transformation, using the most innovative technologies, with the aim of better serving its clients.

Source: Societe Generale

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