Francois Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France, said in a speech Friday that a public/private partnership would be the best way to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to retail users.
His comments were made at a conference hosted by the German central bank – the same event where the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, said Thursday that the European Union had fallen behind on CBDC development globally.
Both France and Germany have been vociferous opponents to overseas companies, like Facebook, launching digital currencies that could compete with fiat money.
France’s finance minister, Bruno le Maire, said last September his government would push to have libra banned from European soil.
While Villeroy de Galhau didn’t mention Facebook by name, he said the EU was already critically dependent on Big Tech firms for payments.
Left unchallenged, he said, they could shut out governments and central banks from having any monetary role in their own countries.
Rather than compete with private companies, Villeroy de Galhau said that “appropriate synergies” between them and the public sector could lead to a better-designed CBDC being put into circulation one day.