Sweden, the world’s most cashless society, is now considering taking a leap into the world of digital currencies.
According to a Bloomberg report, Sweden’s minister for financial markets Per Bolund announced that a study exploring the prospects of the country using digital currency is underway and it will likely be completed in November 2022.
Bolund emphasized the key features that he wants to see in Sweden’s digital currency.
“It’s crucial that the digitalized payments market functions safely, and that it’s available to everybody. Depending on how a digital currency is designed and which technologies are used, it can have large consequences for the entire financial system.”
The research is spearheaded by the country’s central bank, the Riksbank.
Sweden’s digital currency initiative comes as the trend towards digital payments accelerates. The Riksbank reported in October that less than one-tenth of all payments in the country were made in cash – the lowest level in Sweden’s history. The cashless trend grew even stronger as the pandemic expedited the shift to digital payments, said the central bank.
In keeping with the population’s demand for cashless payments, the Riksbank launched a pilot project with Accenture to design an electronic krona or e-krona based on digital ledger technology that can work as a complement to cash. The pilot is expected to end in February 2021.
In October 2019, Riksbank governor Stefan Ingves laid out his vision for the Swedish e-krona, saying that it’s entirely possible to make the e-krona a legal tender.
“The vision I have of what the Swedish payment system will look like in the future can be described as follows. There should be a legal definition of what constitutes electronic legal tender and the e-krona, issued by the state via the Riksbank, should be such legal tender. It should also be possible 24/7/365 to make payments in real-time in e-krona and in addition make at least smaller transactions between currencies.”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get crypto email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Oleksiy Mark