The Swedish Central Bank’s digital currency project, a proposed CBDC, known as the e-krona has been successful finished its second phase of experimentation. According to the Riksbank, the country’s central bank, the asset is now technically ready to be integrated into banking networks and facilitate transactions.
During the second phase of the pilot project for e-kronor – which started in February 2021 – CBDC was investigated in the matter of its technical ability to function within the country’s existing digital banking infrastructure. Participating banks were Handelsbanken and Tietoevry.
The report indicated that the e-krona could really be exchanged for fiat money and used in transactions, both online and offline. This test phase also provided legal clarity in the project as to whether the e-krona should be considered an “electronic form of cash”.
When the project enters phase 3, a number of questions remain about the future of the currency. The Riksbank has not officially confirmed its intention to actually issue the e-krona to the country’s citizens and has not yet stated what legal framework it can be based on. However, the Riksbank specified as early as January 2021 that the project’s proof-of-concept was to use Corda, a distributed ledger technology from R3.
National digital currencies are still a hot topic among financial authorities around the world. A recent Global CBDC Index from PwC showed that 80% of central banks are considering or have already launched a CBDC. The most developed CBDC at the moment, according to the report, is Nigeria’s “eNaira.” It received a rating of 95 in both the retail and wholesale categories. PwC expects that CBDC’s research, testing and implementation will be intensified this year.