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October 26, 2018

Sweden gears up for cashless future with pilot programme on e-krona

Swedish central bank Riksbank has released a report that outlines plans to build a technical framework for a digital currency as the country is exploring ways to shift to a less-cash society in view of the falling public demand for cash.

It all started when the central bank launched a project last year to evaluate the scope for the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as ‘e-krona’.

The idea of the e-krona project is to ensure that the general public will still have access to a state-guaranteed means of payment.

In a statement, Riksbank said: “Adopting a position on whether Sweden should introduce an e-krona will take time.

“But at the same time, the analysis work needs to continue to increase the Riksbank’s knowledge of the consequences of an e-krona and technological solutions need to be developed and tested.”

In a report, the project team has recommended a pilot programme to develop technical solutions for a comprehensive e‐krona concept. This is expected to enable the bank to make an informed decision on whether to issue an e‐krona or not.

Riksbank project manager of e-krona project Eva Julin said: “The next step in the Riksbank’s work on the e-krona should be to build an e-krona to learn more and test which solutions are viable and possible to realise.”

Other proposals include formulating proposals for introduction of legislative amendments to create greater clarity on the Riksbank’s mandate and an e-krona’s legal standing.

The proposed digital currency can either be held in an account at the Riksbank or be stored on a card or in a mobile phone app.

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