French central bank Banque de France has released a report that summarises the insights and findings of an in-depth three-year study on wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC). The aim of the comprehensive study was to find out how central banks can retain control of central bank money in a DLT environment, regardless of the distribution model and underlying technology.

A total of 12 experiments were conducted with the input of a range of stakeholders. Focus was put on testing the effectiveness and efficiency of wCBDC in various use cases in both domestic and cross-border contexts involving cross-currency exchanges, and on different DLT platforms. Banque de France states that the development of CBDC is key to maintaining the anchoring value of central bank money in a digital economy.

Key takeaways

Some key takeaways of the study include:
• Issuing a wCBDC as a complement to a retail CBDC (rCBDC) would contribute to the singleness of money by ensuring the anchoring value of central bank money for both retail and wholesale payments, as well as convertibility between the different forms of private money.
• Interoperability must be prioritised to ensure seamless data and transaction exchanges between DLT-based and conventional structures.
• Central banks should remain technologically neutral while actively contributing to the adoption of common standards.

The study has resulted in the development of three complementary models for DLT-based provision of central bank money that can be applied to different use cases: the Interoperability Model, Integration Model, and Distribution Model.