The Swedish government has announced that it will begin exploring the possibility of converting the country to an all-digital currency. Finance Minister Per Bolund said the study, which started Friday, will end roughly at the end of 2020.
Sweden was one of the first countries in the world to consider introducing a digital currency. The country’s central bank is already launching a pilot project by Accenture Plc to introduce a digital crown based on blockchain technology, which also underpins bitcoin.
Bolund said it is imperative from a government perspective that the digital payments market is safe and accessible to everyone. The introduction of a digital currency can have big consequences for the entire financial system.
Sweden’s Riksbank estimates that cash use in Sweden fell to its lowest level in history in October. This is primarily due to the pandemic, which is only accelerating the transition from banknotes and coins to online payments. According to the bank’s research, less than 10% of all payments in Sweden are made in cash.