ECB Official Considers Stable Coins More Promising Than Bitcoins

(Bloomberg) -- Go inside the global economy with Stephanie Flanders in her new podcast, Stephanomics. Subscribe via Pocket Cast or iTunes.

European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said not all cryptocurrencies are created equal.

While ECB President Mario Draghi lambasted them last week for not being real money, De Galhau said on Tuesday he saw a role for stable coins -- digital tokens tied to assets like the dollar -- in the financial system.

The Bank of France is “observing with great interest initiatives in the private sector which aim at developing networks within which ‘stable coins’ would be used in transactions involving ‘tokenized’ securities or goods and services,” Villeroy said in Paris on Tuesday. “These are quite different from speculative assets like bitcoins, and more promising.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has developed a stable coin to speed up payments between corporate customers, and Facebook Inc. is exploring further uses inside the social network’s WhatsApp messenger.

Tokenization, meantime, involves the transformation of real-world assets, like debt or real estate, into digital contracts that use blockchain technology. One French bank, Societe Generale SA, recently issued 100-million euros ($112 million) of bonds to itself in the form of digital tokens to test a more efficient process for bond issuance.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.