In a landmark development for Europe’s financial landscape, France’s third-largest bank, Société Générale, has made a bold entry into the digital currency domain. 

A French bank is launching its euro-pegged stablecoin

The bank has unveiled its native euro-pegged stablecoin, named EUR CoinVertible (EURCV), marking a significant stride in the European banking sector’s adaptation to the evolving world of cryptocurrency.

This groundbreaking stablecoin, set to debut on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp crypto exchange as reported by the Financial Times, is fully backed by the euro. 

This move allows Société Générale’s customers to seamlessly engage with the digital asset market, opening up new avenues for trading and investment.

Jean-Marc Stenger, CEO of Société Générale Forge, has emphasized the EURCV’s pivotal role in the bank’s ongoing journey within the crypto sphere, highlighting its potential utility in settling trades involving digital bonds, funds, and various assets. 

The EURCV extends beyond the confines of Société Générale, promising widespread applicability across different financial service providers.

Société Générale is also launching a crypto bond

In a parallel yet equally innovative venture, Société Générale has issued its first digital green bond as a security token on the Ethereum public blockchain. 

This bond, valued at 10 million euros, carries a three-year maturity and is earmarked for financing environmentally sustainable activities. The bank stated, “This enables issuers and investors to measure the carbon emissions of their securities on the financial infrastructure.” 

The bond’s digital infrastructure offers around-the-clock access to data on its carbon footprint through a smart contract, pioneering transparency in green financing.

The first licenced crypto provider in France

Société Générale’s subsidiary, Forge, has recently earned the distinction of becoming the first fully licensed crypto service provider in France. 

Forge, a part of Société Générale, which is France’s third-largest bank, has become the first company in the country to get the top license for offering cryptocurrency services. This license, known as PSAN, allows Forge to hold digital assets for customers, buy and sell them for real money, and trade them against other digital assets.

On July 19, 2023, the French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), added this information to their register. According to Société Générale, this license is the highest regulatory approval possible for handling digital asset transactions.

Already, about 90 companies are licensed by the AMF. 

For example, Crédit Agricole, a major rival of Société Générale, got permission for holding digital assets in June 2023. 

But Forge is the first to receive this top-level approval for many different services. Business FM, a French radio station, pointed out that these tough requirements for the license favour big, established banks over smaller crypto companies.

This accreditation by the French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), signifies a high level of regulatory endorsement for digital asset transactions, setting a precedent in the French financial sector.

Société Générale has been very active in the crypto world. 

It has issued euro bonds on the Ethereum blockchain, created security tokens on the Tezos blockchain, and offered Dai stablecoin loans for bond tokens. 

In April 2023, Forge introduced EUR CoinVertible, a stablecoin tied to the euro, for big, institutional clients. This new digital asset is available only to investors who have gone through Societe Generale’s standard customer verification and anti-money laundering checks.

As Europe gears up for the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation in 2024, Société Générale’s ventures into the euro-pegged stablecoin market and the issuance of a green bond on Ethereum signify major milestones. 

While France is generally open to crypto, the French branch of Binance, a global crypto company, is currently under investigation by the French finance investigation service, directed by a specialized court in Paris.