Former ECB Official to Lead Central Banks on Exploring Innovative Financial Technologies


Benoît Cœuré, a French economist who formerly served as an executive board member of the European Central Bank, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub. 

According to the news release published on November 11, the new arm of the BIS would focus on exploring the potentials of digital currencies and how they can improve the existing traditional banking systems. It would be headquartered in Switzerland but will have offices in Singapore and Hong Kong as well. 

As outlined in the document, the Hub’s priority tasks are to determine the critical technology trends that could significantly impact the central banking sector and to provide an in-depth analysis of each one. Furthermore, the new arm is expected to come up with public products in the tech space that could enhance the functions of the global financial system. In essence, the BIS Innovation Hub aims to serve as an entity that central banks can rely on in terms of pursuing financial innovations. 

Interestingly, the chairman of BIS Agustin Carstens and Benoît Cœuré himself were two of the loudest Bitcoin critics back then. Just last year, the latter even referred to the cryptocurrency as the “evil spawn” of an economic decline. Over time, in an apparent change of views, Cœuré went on to preside a dedicated organization for exploring stablecoins. 

Industry experts believe that both high-ranking officials finally realized that central banks have to go with the flow to be able to hold their grounds within a rapidly changing financial environment. 

In a media interview, Cœuré made it clear that he had already decided to welcome and accept change. Instead of basking in the past, he shared his optimism and excitement about being able to take part in the innovative effort of the central banking industry. The new BIS Innovation Hub chairman also encouraged traditional financial institutions to take advantage of technologies that can promote financial inclusion and stability. 


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