Societe Generale launches its own cryptocurrency, EURCV

French banking giant Societe Generale has launched its own euro-pegged stablecoin, EUR CoinVertible (EURCV). This move by France’s third-largest bank reflects the increasing trend of mainstream financial institutions embracing cryptocurrencies on a global scale.

Societe Generale cryptocurrency, EURCV

The debut of EURCV on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp crypto exchange signals one of the first forays by a major European bank into the burgeoning stablecoin market.

Jean-Marc Stenger, CEO of Société Générale Forge, announced that EURCV will be fully backed by the euro, offering the bank’s customers a new avenue to engage with the digital asset market. This stablecoin is not just limited to trading but is also designed for settling trades involving digital bonds, funds, and various assets, indicating its versatile application beyond Société Générale’s immediate platform.

Stenger’s announcement comes at a time when the private crypto stablecoin market is predominantly dominated by U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins like Tether and Circle’s USD Coin. With the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation on the horizon, set to be implemented in 2024, Société Générale’s entry into this space could be a signal of broader institutional adoption in Europe.

The bank’s foray into stablecoins is also part of a broader trend of traditional financial institutions cautiously embracing cryptocurrency. SG Forge, the crypto arm of French banking giant Societe Generale, was the first company to secure a license to offer buying, selling, trading, and custody of digital assets in France.

The bank’s launch of EURCV also coincides with its investment in digital green bonds, using the stablecoin as a transaction medium. Axa Investment Managers’ use of EURCV to invest in the bank’s 10 million euro digital green bond highlights the real-world applications of this new asset.

Circle, the issuer of the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, is also seeking to get a dual registration in France as it aims to on-shore its flagship product for the European market – EUROC – a reserve-backed stablecoin.

Once approved, Circle plans to roll out its euro-pegged stablecoin, providing a liquid and stable means of obtaining exposure to the single European currency. Dubbed ‘Euro Coin (EUROC),’ the asset is issued under the same full-reserve model as Circle’s USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar currency with more than $30 billion in circulation.

Created to satisfy euro-biased crypto enthusiasts, Circle believes that the token can provide protection during periods of extreme volatility in the market while improving the risk and return metrics of crypto-investment portfolios.

Similar to USDC, EUROC is fiat-collateralized with each stablecoin unit is backed by a corresponding unit of Euro to ensure it’s always 100% backed by fiat money held in euro-denominated banking accounts.