The Sovereign Prince and the Government of Monaco have made the digital transition a priority. Digital transformation of the Monegasque economy is a key priority within this context. Frédéric Genta, an ESCP Europe graduate with a Harvard MBA in finance and economics, is now the interdepartmental delegate charged with the digital transition, with a team of over 100 people. For us, he details his approach to contribute to growth of the Monegasque financial centre.
How can the digital transition be built in Monaco? What does it mean in concrete terms?
It is three missions actually: to develop the quality of life (health, education, security etc.), to modernise the administration (e.g. consider dematerialisation of certain administrative procedures), and finally to enable Monaco to transform its economy, and seize new opportunities, to bring its economic fabric in line with the very high value added practices that Monaco needs. Success in this transition will determine Monaco’s future for the next ten to fifteen years at least, consistent and in line with the strategy that H.S.H. Prince Albert II has defined. It is a unique and historic challenge, but I have a strong team of around a hundred people to meet it.
The blockchain industry is revolutionising the world of finance, among others. What is your opinion of blockchains?
The blockchain is not a very mature technology, in my opinion. Ecologically speaking, it must be noted that it consumes a lot of energy. In Monaco we do not intend to develop blockchain technology without a practical application in the real economy. Since the country has no stock exchange, we do not use IPOs (initial public offerings) but we can attract companies with ICOs (initial coin offerings). We have a qualitative, security vision of ICOs, with the highest normative level in the world.
We are open to ICOs if they bring projects appropriate to Monaco, serving companies connected with the green economy or health, for example. We advocate the highest level of regulation of Monegasque subscribers.
The bill tabled by Thierry Poyet at the National Council will be passed into law by the government at the beginning of the year. Our goal is to enable robust definitions to be laid down, to establish a strong normative and security level aligned with the recommendations of France and the AMF, and to enable us to implement a relevant ICO policy to attract targeted and well-known companies in Monaco.
Incidentally, we do not intend to create a Monegasque cryptocurrency. We have neither the need nor the expertise for that.
Last year, Monaco and Luxembourg signed a partnership agreement on digital innovation, which particularly relates to financial institutions…
Data are now the wealth of finance. Financial institutions need to certify a high degree of confidentiality. Luxembourg hosts sensitive data, such as NATO data, in ultra-secure data centres. It is a country we have affinities with: it is geographically contained, it is a Duchy. So we are going to create a digital twin of the Monegasque data centre in Luxembourg, with similar immunity guarantees to an embassy’s. Data are duplicated and stored in Monaco and Luxembourg. France does not propose this type of agreement. The financial centre will benefit from this opportunity. The level of confidentiality and security is very high, and banks will be able to store their data in Luxembourg if they wish. Through this process we have created a full double, this preventing all risks of loss due to unexpected events and even natural disasters.
More generally, the Monegasque financial centre will accompany the transformation of the country’s economy. This very high-quality financial centre will create many benefits and jobs for Monaco. The government and myself will always be ready to help the financial centre grow and be even more successful.