The country of Sweden has begun testing an e-krona, bringing it that much closer to the proper release of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The pilot program will be in operation for one year, until February 2021.
If and when the e-krona formally launches for use by the public, the idea is that this blockchain-powered currency would drive conventional payments and banking activities throughout the country. Instead of swiping a credit card or spending fiat currency, everyday transacting can move to the blockchain.
CBDCs are a hot topic these days, and Sweden is the second country (after the Bahamas) to unveil what would appear to be a true, working national cryptocurrency. The Bahamas launched a CBDC pilot program in December and plans a full rollout sometime in the second half of 2020.
China has teased that it is developing its own CBDC, but developments there so far aren’t as cohesive as Sweden and the Bahamas.
Launching a CBDC in Sweden would seem to fit existing Swedish sensibility — the country is already one of the most cashless societies in the world.