Decentralized finance (DeFi) was developed as a way for users to perform financial transactions in a decentralized and transparent environment through blockchains and smart contracts. Soon after the foundations of DeFi were set, users realized that having tokens with values tied to traditional currencies and assets would make DeFi even more useful. These assets, known as stablecoins, received particularly strong adoption as DeFi movement took off beginning in 2020.
In most cases, stablecoins are linked, or “pegged,” to fiat currencies with most stablecoins pegged to the US dollar. This includes popular tokens such as USDT, USDC, and Dai. Euro-pegged stablecoins joined the market somewhat later. In April 2023, a new stablecoin pegged to euro (EUR) was launched by Societe Generale- FORGE, Societe Generale’s crypto asset-focused subsidiary. The company has since managed issuance of the Ethereum-based EUR CoinVertible (EURCV) token.
EUR CoinVertible is a digital asset that purports to maintain a stable value relative to a reference asset, as opposed to other crypto assets which are not pegged to another asset. Its value is currently backed by fiat euro held in a cash account opened with Societe Generale and has been designed in accordance with the French legal framework applicable to digital assets. EUR CoinVertible, has been designed to provide:
- Settlement and store-of-value asset for on-chain transactions,
- A solution for cash management and cash pooling activities,
- On-chain liquidity funding and refinancing solutions, and
- A solution for intra-day liquidity needs (e.g., margin calls).
How was EUR CoinVertible developed?
EUR CoinVertible was created by a subsidiary of Societe Generale (SG) called Societe Generale-FORGE (SG-FORGE).
Founded in 1864, SG is one of France’s largest banking and financial services firms. SG-FORGE is SG’s subsidiary dedicated to crypto assets which aims is to provide crypto asset services such as issuing and managing on-chain assets and financial products to its customers which include investors, corporates, and other financial institutions. In addition to EURCV, SG-FORGE has provided services for digital bonds and structured products issued natively on Ethereum and Tezos since 2019.
SG-FORGE announced its EURCV stablecoin in April 2023 to “bridge the gap between traditional capital markets and the digital assets ecosystem”, and in October 2023, SG-FORGE announced an updated EURCV smart contract designed to “improve resiliency” and make transfers faster, notably allowing free transfers between whitelisted investors.
How does EUR CoinVertible work?
EURCV is a token issued on the Ethereum blockchain network. As a fiat-backed stablecoin, SG-FORGE ensures that all EURCV tokens are backed by bank cash deposits or high-quality securities on a 1:1 basis. The collateral assets are segregated from general assets of SG-FORGE on an accounting and legal basis with a well-known fiduciary and are exclusively allocated to back EURCV stablecoin. The level of collateralization is updated and published on a daily basis on SG-FORGE’s website available here.
As SG-FORGE issues and sells EURCV to customers, the funds that customers use to buy the tokens are transferred to a third-party financial company which holds the funds in an account dedicated solely to collateralizing the value of EURCV. This structure ensures users the ability to access the full value of their tokens, even if there are issues with the EURCV token on the blockchain.
An integral part of EURCV’s design is its know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) controls. Anyone wishing to obtain EURCV from SG-FORGE needs to be onboarded by the company in order to exchange their assets for EURCV tokens, and through this process their Ethereum addresses become whitelisted by the company. In addition, transfers of EURCV can only occur between Ethereum addresses whitelisted by SG-FORGE. Some argue that centralization is inherent in many of the stablecoins on the market, since companies like Tether and Circle ultimately have control of their tokens and have the ability to freeze tokens on-chain. However, EURCV transactions are facilitated by SG-FORGE on an even more granular level than other stablecoins. While this centralization may be unsavory to some crypto users, it allows for more robust compliance controls and may aid in theft prevention.
How is the EURCV token used?
EURCV is intended to be used like any other stablecoin. As an Ethereum-based token that conforms to the ERC20 standard, it is transferrable between holders and can theoretically be used in smart contract-powered decentralized application (dapps). However, currently, this functionality is limited by the whitelisting requirement.
- EUR CoinVertible (EURCV) is a stablecoin pegged to the value of the euro fiat currency.
- EURCV is issued by Societe Generale - FORGE, a subsidiary of one of France’s largest banks, Societe Generale. Its legal structure ensures that segregated collateral assets back EURCV’s value which offers tokenholders a direct recourse to these assets. SG-FORGE ensures the collateral assets value and publishes it publicly every day.
- Entities must go through SG-FORGE KYC and AML controls to be whitelisted and access EURCV, as a measure to comply with AML regulations. EURCV transfers between whitelisted addresses are direct and no longer require SG-FORGE implication thanks to the last update of the smart contract.