ECB’s Benoît Cœuré to Lead Blockchain and Fintech Innovation Hub

The Bank for International Settlements has taken onboard Cœuré to provide expertise on the potential for blockchain to alter financial technology.

Benoît Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), has been appointed the new Head of the BIS Innovation hub. In his new role at the Bank of International Settlements, Cœuré will deal with the future of money and fintech, and the special place of blockchain and digital assets.

“I am very happy to be joining the BIS. I look forward to bringing my expertise to the global central banking community at this time of rapid technological change. We must make the best use of innovation to support financial stability and promote financial inclusion,” said Cœuré.

In the past, he has expressed fears that Libra and other similar privately launched assets could challenge the policy of the European Central Bank. Now, for the next five years, Cœuré will explore the specific challenges of new technology to the activity of central banks and monetary policy.

The announcement of Libra was one of the factors that triggered increased regulation of digital assets and the activities related to exchanges and transfers. Regulators have moved in after the fact for multiple trends in the crypto space. The latest concern is about “stablecoins”, or digital assets pegged to fiat currencies.

Cœuré has also worked on the G7 task group focusing on global stablecoins. Some of the concerns about stablecoins include legality, governance, and the potential for money laundering, warns a report by the G7 task group.

The BIS Innovation Hub will operate from three offices, in Switzerland, Hong Kong, and soon, Singapore. The three locations are hotbeds of crypto-related activity. The Hub will look at technology-driven innovation in general, going beyond blockchain-based assets.

The BIS Hub will also produce data and insights to be used by central banks, on their decision-making in how fintech and innovation can change the financial system.

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