The wave of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is gaining momentum after China’s progress and expected coin launch in 2020. Sweden is the latest country to announce a pilot test plan for the ‘e-krona’ digital currency; this will be its CBDC in the near future as more governments continue to embrace FinTech in digital payments.
According to a press release on Dec 13 by Sweden’s regulator, Riksbank, they will partner with Accenture to implement this DLT compatible tech. The IT consulting giant will be tasked with designing and creating the UI features for e-krona digital currency in the next one year as per the contract. Riksbank however noted that they are open to work together with Accenture for as long as 7 years which is the schedule period for running pilots on its CBDC.
This move has just brought e-krona digital currency closer to being a reality especially with the Swedish shift to digital payments in recent years. Canada’s Central Bank Deputy Governor had earlier on commented on this shift as he spoke at the Philadelphia Fed Reserve FinTech Conference noting that Swedish authorities need to act before tipping point.
Riksbank started its research on a CBDC back in 2016 and has since documented two reports on this progress. The Central Bank through its Deputy governor said that they are under pressure to shift to electronic money given stakeholders within the Swedish economy have moved away from bills and coins. Events around the globe also largely catalyzed the dive into a CBDC project; notably is Facebook’s stablecoin ‘Libra’. Stefan Ingves, the Governor of Riksbank, termed the move by Facebook as catalytic and important.
It is yet to be clear if the tech that Accenture will implement will be used to run e-krona given this procurement was classified as National Security information. This development by Sweden comes as their Switzerland crypto-friendly counterparts thwarted any plans to launch a CBDC for its population.