The Swedish government is progressing with its central bank digital currency, or CBDC, by launching a formal review of a potential transition to the digital currency.
According to a Bloomberg report published Friday, the review will explore the feasibility of moving the country's payments infrastructure to a digital currency. The country features one of the most cashless economies in the world.
Sweden’s financial markets minister, Per Bolund, reportedly said that the government expects to complete the digital currency review by the end of November 2022. Anna Kinberg Batra — a former chairwoman of the finance committee at Sweden’s central bank, Riksbank — would lead the initiative.
Bolund emphasized that it is crucial to ensure that the digital payments system in the country functions in a safe way and is “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 minister said.
Sweden has emerged as one of the major CBDC technology pioneers, announcing a pilot platform for a digital currency known as e-krona in late 2019. In order to build the platform, Sweden’s central bank partnered with Irish professional services company Accenture. Riksbank launched its first e-krona pilots in February, claiming that the testing will be in operation until February 2021.
In October, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves expressed confidence that an e-krona should be issued by the central bank and recognized as legal tender. Last year, Ingves said that Sweden’s central bank cannot be the only institution to decide the future of an e-krona implementation:
“Considering how economically important the issue is, the Riksbank cannot take the decision on its own as to whether an e-krona should be introduced and, if so, in what form. It is a decision that must have substantial political support.”