Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, has turned to Accenture to trial its digital currency e-krona.
A technical platform with a user interface will be developed in the first year of the trial. This will be used to test e-krona payments through mobile phone, card, and watch.
The initial phase of the project will run to 31 December 2020.
The initiative could also be extended for a further six years if the central bank intends to test new functions. However, Riksbank stressed that it has not taken a final decision on the issuance of the digital currency.
Last year, it was proposed that the Swedish central bank start a pilot programme to develop technical solutions for a comprehensive e‐krona concept. The aim was to aid the bank’s decisions on the digital currency.
The bank said at that time: “For a long time, the state has provided the general public with banknotes and coins to use for payments. Cash has enjoyed the confidence of the general public and facilitated trade in goods and services. Today’s digital payment market means that we face a new situation in which all means of payment accessible to the general public are issued and controlled by private agents.
“If the state, via the central bank, does not have any payment services to offer as an alternative to the strongly concentrated private payment market, it may lead to a decline in competitiveness and a less stable payment system, as well as make it difficult for certain groups to make payments.”