Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, considers the possibility of issuing a digital currency, named e-krona, instead of using cash.
Cecilia Skingsley, Deputy Governor of the Riksbank, described the possibility of money digitalization at FinTech Stockholm on Wednesday, November 16.
Today, people in Sweden are more likely to use banking cards or payments apps than cash. Roughly 95% of all retail sales are made electronically. In her speech, Cecilia Skingsley noted that the less those living in Sweden use banknotes and coins, the clearer it becomes that the Riksbank needs to investigate whether it should issue electronic money as a complement to the money we have today.”
Ms. Skingsley continued:
"If the market can make use of the new technology to launch new and popular payment services, why shouldn't the Riksbank be able to do the same?"
Issuing e-krona would be something completely new for a central bank. That is why Riksbank wants to first investigate a number of technical, legal and practical issues before making a final decision on the future of a national digital currency in Sweden.
Ms. Skingsley said:
“Firstly, we need to identify what technologies can be used. This includes investigating both decentralised and centralised alternatives. It is important not to exclude alternatives in advance and thus limit the room for maneuvering. Perhaps what we need is a combination of centralisation and decentralisation?”
However, according to Cecilia Skingsley, the Riksbank will continue issuing banknotes and coins as long as there is demand for them in society.