The Swedish government is making headway with its central bank digital currency, or CBDC, by launching a formal evaluation of a possible transition to the digital currency.
According to a December 11 Bloomberg reportThe evaluation will examine the feasibility of moving the country’s payment infrastructure to a digital currency. The country has one of the most cashless economies in the world.
Per Bolund, Sweden’s Financial Markets Minister, reportedly said the government expects to complete the review of the digital currency by the end of November 2022. Anna Kinberg Batra, a former chairman of the financial committee of the Swedish central bank Riksbank, was to lead the initiative.
Bolund emphasized that it is crucial to ensure that the digital payment system in the country functions in a secure manner and is ‘available to everyone’. “Depending on how a digital currency is designed and what technologies are used, it can have major implications for the entire financial system,” said the minister.
Sweden has emerged as one of the foremost pioneers of CBDC technology and announced one trial platform for a digital currency known as e-krona at the end of 2019. To build the platform, Sweden’s central bank teamed up with Irish professional services provider Accenture. The Riksbank launched its first e-krona pilots in February 2020, claiming the tests will last until February 2021.
In October 2020, Riksbank governor Stefan expressed confidence that an e-krona must be issued by the central bank and recognized as legal tender. Last year, Stefan said that the Swedish central bank cannot be the only institution that decides the future of an e-krona implementation:
“Given the economic importance of the issue, the Riksbank cannot decide on its own whether an e-krona should be introduced and, if so, in what form. It is a decision that must have significant political backing […]”