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“States are forced to position themselves in the face of the emergence of digital currency”

“France is a pioneer (…). But, isolated in the midst of a concert of hesitations, the advance she is trying to take today is likely to lead to dead ends. »Dado Ruvic / REUTERS

tribune. For ten years, public and private decision-makers have considered the blockchain and its applications, first and foremost bitcoin, with a curiosity tinged with mistrust. It was then fashionable to discuss potentially interesting applications in the medium term that would cause a slow evolution of part of the financial industry towards “tokenization”[Token[token[Token[token“Token” in English] and digital assets.

And Libra took the world by surprise … Forced to note the possible emergence of a private currency controlled by a transnational company, the States were forced to position themselves quickly on this technology and the consequences of its possible arrival in the daily life of billions of citizens.

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The results were not long in coming. The US Congress, notably during Zuckerberg's hearings on October 23, mainly focused on the issue of the basket of currencies to which libra was to be backed, anxious to preserve the supremacy of the dollar as an international currency. , while preserving the advantage that this product can provide to the country's economy.

As is often the case, China has decided to create parallel and dedicated technology for its domestic market. In a speech delivered on October 24, 2019 to the political bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Chinese President Xi Jinping made blockchain an economic priority and stressed the need to keep China at the forefront of this technology for to obtain new industrial benefits.

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At the beginning of November, a study by the firm Market Intelligence IDC indicated that China is increasing its investment in this area by more than 80% per year. Its amount is expected to reach 1.67 billion dollars (1.51 billion euros) in 2022.

The applications envisaged are plethoric: from SME financing to banking risk management, from economic innovation to poverty reduction, to integration with artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

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One can ask the question of the implementation of a technology allowing the exhaustive monitoring of information in a country where mass surveillance is a daily reality. The blockchain in the service of the social rating system of Chinese citizens, it is probably for tomorrow.

And Europe? She does as usual. Paralyzed by the fear of innovation and change, the European leaders are making rhetoric against libra, and timidly considering the creation of a credible alternative: a crypto-euro. By remaining cautious. We never know. We will think about it …

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