According to a Bloomberg report, Sweden is becoming one of the initial countries to move toward a digital currency and therefore remove cash from circulation.
Discussions are underway led by Per Bolund, the Financial Markets Minister of Sweden. Starting on Friday a review of the ramifications of such an economical shift began. The review is set to last until November 2022.
To introduce a digital currency—replacing the paper krona—the central bank of Sweden has already partnered with Accenture for a pilot version of an e-krona (electronic krona) that uses blockchain technology to manage transactions.
Implementing the digital currency would be a massive undertaking just like any change in national currency. However, the transition from paper to digital would be a particular challenge.
As Bolund states, “it’s crucial that the digitalized payments market functions safely, and that it’s available to everybody.”
All parts, industries, and citizens of Sweden would need to move toward the e-Krona for it to operate properly.
The call for a digital currency comes after years of a dwindling use of cash payments. More recently, cash payments have dropped to less than 10% of all transactions in Sweden.
Although, Sweden was declared in 2018 by the Bank of International Settlements the “world’s most cashless society,” this trend isn’t specific to Sweden. Many countries like the U.S., China, and Japan have all been dabbling in CBDC’s (central bank digital currencies) otherwise known as government cryptocurrency for a few years, whether in private behind capital doors or in public.
It is just a matter of time before one country makes the final leap to make a cashless society real. Will Sweden be the first?