The Swedish central bank says it wants to look at how a new e-krona could stimulate ‘smart payments’ that some say are the future of money, reports Coindesk.
In a report published on Wednesday, the Riksbank deemed tests to integrate state-backed digital money into conventional banking systems a success – but said it was still examining claims of the promised benefits the new technology could bring.
The ability to program or control transfers – such as triggering a payment when a contract is fulfilled, or giving pocket money that can not be spent on sweets – are cited as a potential benefit of central bank digital currency (CBDC), but Swedish officials want to probe that further.
Concepts such as programmable money, smart money and smart payments are often said to be the future of payments, and this is used as an argument in favour of the new technology,” the central bank said in the report.
Though no decision has yet been taken about the design or issuance of an e-krona, in the next phase, “we want to test and explore how such solutions can be used to create new payment services, and why they would be more effective than more traditional technologies,” the central bank said.
A trial to integrate existing intermediaries such as banks to distribute the CBDCs to regular citizens was deemed “successful” by the report, as were off-line solutions in which the asset can be stored locally on someone’s phone.
Like the European Central Bank (ECB), Sweden, which is in the EU but does not use the euro currency, is looking at whether to allow those offline payments – which could aid privacy, but also bring the same kinds of risks of cash, like theft, or use of the funds for illicit purposes.