The Swedish Central Bank Riksbank explore the feasibility of a project to create a digital currency, amid declining usage of traditional banknotes and coins in the country. The central bank begin assessing the technological, legal and policy implications of such electronic money.
“Riksbank cannot wait more to study the possibility of issuing electronic krona (e-krona)”, said the Deputy Governor of the Bank, Cecilia Skingsley. “The less those of us living in Sweden use bank notes and coins, the clearer it becomes that the Riksbank needs to investigate whether we should issue electronic money as a complement to the money we have today”, added she.
The speech marks the start of what is likely to be a yearslong investigation into the feasibility of issuing digital money to private individuals, in the way central banks already do to commercial banks.
It also needs to be decided whether the money should be booked in accounts or some form of digitally transferable unit that doesn’t need an underlying account structure, roughly like cash.
According to the Central Bank, the demand for cash from the public has fallen from 97 billion kronor (10.5 billion USD) in 2007 to about 61 billion kroner today.
This initiative Riksbank could become the world’s first central bank launched its own virtual currency.