The Swedish Central Bank has extended an ongoing pilot project to create a digital version of the Swedish krona until 2022, as recently announced by the national Riksbank.
In combination with the professional service company Accenture, the pilot program “e-krona” was launched to address what the Riksbank sees as the “marginalization of cash”:
“The Riksbank sees potential problems with the marginalization of cash and has therefore started a pilot project to develop a proposal for a technical solution for a central bank digital currency, an e-krona that can act as a complement to cash.”
The latest announcement states that no decision has been made on how or if the e-krona will be issued. However, a short 2020 whitepaper describes the use of R3’s Corda blockchain – a private distributed ledger made for businesses and businesses. In contrast to public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, projects based on Corda are only accessible via invitation.
Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are digital currencies that are exclusively issued and monitored by the central bank of a specific country. Unlike coins on open source decentralized public blockchains, CBDCs do not pretend to be alternatives to the current fiat system. Rather, they are designed as a possible protection against the spread of virtual currencies and only serve as a digital version of existing national funds.
The pilot program will continue in the course of the coming year and is expected to end in February 2022. The latest announcement indicates that testing offline functionality and onboarding external participants will be a priority in the coming months:
“The main goal of the pilot is for the Riksbank to expand its knowledge of a digital krona issued by the central bank. The project will now be extended until the end of February 2022. The aim for the coming year is to further develop the technical solution, with a focus on performance, scalability, testing of offline functions and the involvement of external participants in the test environment. ”