E-Krona or Bust, Says Sweden’s Chief Central Banker, Trying to Drag Swedish Govt Into Digital Age
Sweden’s top central banker Stefan Ingves has gone all-in on sovereign digital currency, and on Thursday the Riksbank governor called upon the Swedish Parliament to do the same.
- “There shall be digital state money as legal tender, an e-krona, issued by the Riksbank,” Ingves wrote in a Thursday economic note that amounts to his strongest statement yet in favor of a Swedish central bank digital currency (CBDC).
- He pushed for Sweden’s government to “review the concept of legal tender” and the legality of an e-krona is necessary to prepare Riksbank for a digital future.
- Ingves said the e-krona is necessary for future-proofing Riksbank’s operations. Sweden’s populace is abandoning cash for digital payments at a world-leading rate, he asserted.
- That’s prompting Riksbank to grapple with a CBDC. Although dozens of monetary authorities are now studying sovereign digital currencies, Sweden’s is one of the few to actually pilot one.
- Also notable: Sweden’s e-krona pilot project is running on distributed ledger technology.
- Ingves called upon the Riksdag and Sweden’s government to address the digital shift with legislation.
- Riksbank first called for the formation of a committee to study cash in April 2019. The proposal cleared the Riksdag that June but has sat with the government ever since. “We also need help from” the government, Ingves said.
- “The Riksbank has not yet taken a formal decision on whether or not to issue an e-krona,” he said. “A decision to issue an e-krona requires a legal basis and political support.”
- A Riksbank spokesperson did not return CoinDesk questions by press time.