The Governor of Sweden’s central bank Riksbank, Stefan Ingves said that a digital central bank currency (CBDC) might be launched within five years, as they are preparing themselves for a post-cash era. This is the first time a clear timeline for the CBDC launch has been revealed.
On Thursday, Ingves stated that five years “is a reasonable target”. Previously, he noted that the parliament is the one responsible for making the final decision.
Currently, the Bahamas has a digital currency of their own and China is piloting a digital yuan in a few cities at the moment. In February, the president of European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde gave an estimation of four years for the launch of a digital euro.
The Riksbank has been constantly delaying its timeline. After suggesting that the e-krona might be given the greenlight by 2018, the central bank recently stated that the current pilot project might not be completed until early-2022, and then extended the deadline to late-2026.
Ingves said that the e-krona investigation has been progressing at a good pace. Although, he added that “we’ll only know in hindsight whether it was quick or slow”.
The Riksbank remains a pioneer among the major western central banks in investigating ways to adapt to a world that progressively goes cashless, as Sweden is shifting into a cashless nation.
The government of Sweden is set to publish its own inquiry into an e-krona in November 2022.