French bank Société Générale has become the first major bank to publicly list a stablecoin, as it attempts to push a euro coin into a US dollar-dominated market.
Developed by SG-FORGE, the bank's subsidiary dedicated to cryptoassets, the coin launched an Ethereum public blockchain yesterday (6 December) on crypto exchange Bitstamp.
Unlike 'normal' cryptocurrencies, stablecoins are pegged to a fixed amount, either through backing with assets or an algorithmic process. SG-FORGE said the coins would be backed by euros held by a third party.
While some banks, such as JP Morgan, have launched stablecoins for internal use, Société Générale's is the first to be listed on a public exchange.
Named EUR CoinVertible, the stablecoin will attempt to overcome some existing problems with stablecoins, pushing them into the mainstream as financial institutions begin to explore digital ledger technology.
The coin aims to meet growing demand for a robust settlement and store-of-value asset for on-chain transactions, an innovative solution for cash management and cash pooling activities and enhanced collateral management.
"Stablecoins embed a promise of stabilisation mechanism, which sets them apart from the main cryptocurrencies and makes a solid and plausible case for the future coexistence of stablecoins and CBDCs," SG-FORGE's whitepaper noted.
However, following the instability in the crypto market last year, it argued that the "time has come" for projects by financial institutions with strong compliance features and a robust legal framework to respond to regulatory requirements.
SG-FORCE has deployed a variety of security tokens and CBDC experiments since 2019, and said the new coin will not provide any exposure risk to Société Générale itself.
"With this listing, SG-FORGE offers the opportunity to the crypto ecosystem to diversify its positions and gain access to a robust, stable asset built on Société Générale's regulatory and structuring expertise. This is an important step towards widespread adoption of our stablecoin," Jean-Marc Stenger, CEO of SG-FORGE, said.
He added: "As the first euro stablecoin to be issued by a fully regulated subsidiary of a global bank, this is an exciting moment for our industry as we move towards our mission of mainstream adoption of crypto.
"Stablecoins bridge the gap between traditional fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies - offering the best of both worlds due to their stability and on-chain feature set - whilst also supporting our goal of increased financial inclusion."