The third-largest bank in France by market capitalization, Société Générale, subtly received regulatory authorization to operate as a provider of digital asset services in the nation last month. It was established in 1864 and, as of 2020, had assets of more than €1.4 billion, making it the third-largest bank in France and the sixth-largest bank in Europe.
As of last month, the banking behemoth can now custody, sell, and digitally trade assets through its fully integrated blockchain-focused subsidiary, Societe Generale Forge. This is due to a decision made by the French financial market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), regarding digital asset service providers (DASP).
Many venture investors in France are currently having trouble locating regulated custodial solutions for digital assets. As a result, French cryptocurrency funds were established as unlicensed special-purpose vehicles, like the €100 million Ledger Cathay Capital fund.
Due to the AMF’s most recent decision, French venture capital companies wanting to custody their cryptocurrency investments may be able to use the services of one of the country’s most recognizable banking players.
It comes after the bank made earlier efforts in digital assets. The bank revealed last month that its securities services would provide additional custodial facilities for asset management firms looking to create cryptocurrency-based funds. To increase its capabilities for digital assets, Société Générale’s Forge and cryptocurrency custody provider Metaco established a partnership in June.
French blockchain technology continues to be a significant focus for international cryptocurrency firms like Binance and Crypto.com in Europe.
Last month, the Banque de France, the central bank of France also hinted at a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for cross-border and cross-currency payments. The plan is to issue wholesale CBDCs to be used by permitted institutions only, for cross-border settlements. Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Bank of France further went on to say that wholesale CBDCs receive less media attention than their news-grabbing retail counterparts.