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France’s central bank is opening up a new innovation lab, with an eye to collaborate with blockchain startups.

In a speech given late last month by Banque de France governor Villeroy de Galhau and published today, the central bank indicated that it wants to widen its work with the tech. In December, central bank officials unveiled details of a digital identity trial which saw the institution work with public-private investment office Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Paris-based startup Labo Blockchain and a group of undisclosed domestic banks.

That trial came months after the Banque de France called for more research into blockchain.

According to de Galhau, who spoke at the Paris FinTech Forum, the central bank wants to promote more fintech innovation. To spur that effort, officials are opening a new lab through which it can work alongside startups on trials and prototypes.

Telling attendees of the forum that “we are learning from you”, de Galhau advocated for an expansive environment for startups, including those working with blockchain.

De Galhau explained:

“The digitalisation of the financial sector can accelerate this positive process: it helps to disseminate technological advances such as electronic signatures, solutions to defend against cyber-attacks or distributed ledger technologies. Innovative and secure payment solutions, such as tomorrow’s blockchains, are also helping to speed up the development of e-commerce and modernise physical trade.”

Few details are available as to when the lab will open. However, de Galhau indicated that the central bank would move forward aggressively with its fintech innovation plans.

“Rest assured we are fully mobilised towards this goal,” he said.

Image via Shutterstock

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