Sweden may be first to have national digital currency

Sweden aims to decide on whether to issue a digital currency called “ekrona” within two years. Cecilia Skingsley, deputy governor of Sweden’s central bank Riksbank, told that the bank is considering the move after a dramatic drop in the usage of cash. The amount of notes and coins in circulation has fallen by 40% since 2009, with a rise in online shopping and card payments.

While banks are currently given access to electronic money by the central bank, if Sweden does choose to introduce the “ekrona” it would be the first time a major country in the world has given consumers direct access to virtual money issued by a central bank.

While Sweden may be the first to issue digital currency, it is not the only country considering such a move. The UK Home Office told the Treasury earlier this year that there “might be a number of advantages of any digital currency for the UK being created and owned by central government.” Citi also told the government during the same consultation.

Sweden:

Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal islands and inland lakes, along with vast boreal forests and glaciated mountains. Its principal cities, eastern capital Stockholm and southwestern Gothenburg and Malmö, are all coastal. Stockholm is built on 14 islands. It has more than 50 bridges, as well as the medieval old town, Gamla Stan, royal palaces and museums such as open-air Skansen.
 Capital: Stockholm
Currency: Swedish krona
Official language: Swedish

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