Today Sweden’s Riskbank announced it had completed its second phase of central bank digital currency (CBDC) technical trials and is now planning to formulate the requirements for an e-krona. It has not yet made a decision about whether to issue a retail CBDC.
The central bank has been working with Accenture for the last two years using the Corda enterprise blockchain, and it has now extended the Accenture relationship for another year. Technical trials have explored offline payments and integrated commercial banks into a CBDC network. Conclusions from these tests will be published in the Spring. A previous paper found that a token-based CBDC was no more cash-like than an account-based CBDC.
“In phase 3 we will begin to formulate a basis for the requirements for an e-krona if a decision is made to issue it. All the tests, analyses and investigations carried out will form a base for this work. We will also draw on experience from the rapid international development that is now taking place in this field,” said Mithra Sundberg, Head of the E-krona Division.
The bank also plans to have discussions with technology and payment providers and open a public consultation.
Riksbank was one of the first central banks to explore CBDCs, because of a rapid decline in cash usage and a monopoly provider for digital cash. This is similar to the motivation behind China’s digital yuan and the more recent interest from Kenya.