Scandinavia is arguably one of the most culturally and technologically developed regions in the world. Countries in this region are known to produce amazing tech innovations and implement them with their societies before anybody else.
The biggest development in Scandinavian countries is vivid in the financial sector. The ease and the availability is the key and the focal point for every Scandinavian country, making the payment systems and all financial services reasonably accessible to all the citizens. This is well shown in the numbers as well as the statistics, which are driven by the positive changes in the Scandinavian countries.
The most recent news regarding the region is Scandinavia being named the least cash using region in the world. According to research conducted in 2018, only 1% of the total population of Sweden used banknotes, which is almost 10 times less than in Eurozone countries and even less than in the US. This could have been the trigger for switching to online payments.
Among some other countries who are aiming at switching to digital currencies any time soon, Scandinavian countries are topping the charts. They have a valid reason for being called the best and the most advanced in this sphere.
The process is definitely time-consuming and a lot of things are yet to be changed and improved. This is why Sweden has already launched a pilot version of a fully digital currency known as e-krona. The project was launched back in 2019 and the central bank, Riksbank is the main issuer of the digital currency. This was only the pilot version which shall run until 2021 and then based on research and further observations, will reach a final verdict.
Sweden isn’t the only country about to become digitized in Scandinavia, but Norway is doing a great job as well. There is a city-state in Norway, Liberstadt, which uses cryptocurrency as its official medium of exchange. People use digital assets in their daily lives, just like bank transfers, payments, shopping, gambling, and many more. Actually, Norway is the country with the most number of crypto casinos in the Scandinavian region. The reason for the popularity of cryptos in Norway is the safety and anonymity of the transaction, as well as a complement to the local regulations. More information about crypto casino regulations and available payment methods is available on the NorskCasino.Online website.
Just like Liberstadt, Sweden is planning to make digital currency official in 2022. Last week, the prime minister and the finance minister of Sweden issued the new guidelines, which will dictate the right rules and terms of switching to digital currencies. The guidelines will assure the governmental officials and the central bank that the people are ready for the massive transition and that digital assets will be eligible for everyone everywhere.
The transition has started
The guidelines were issued only recently, though the countries have been preparing for the implementation of digital currencies for quite some time already. Some details are yet unknown, for example, which platforms and systems will be used in digital transactions, will it be the blockchain technology, or something else. The choice shall determine the easiness and accessibility of the e-krona all over the country.
CBDC is basically like traditional money, which will be issued by the central bank of Sweden. e-krona is definitely not another Bitcoin but should be very handy in everyday life, as the only thing needed in any kind of transaction is a mobile phone or another electronic device.
There is no final answer to what kind of platform is behind the CBDC, though both the central bank and official promise that it should be as simple as sending text messages. Before last year, the decision was made that Sweden’s central bank would have been the only responsible party for producing electronic money, though last year, in February the picture changed.
The role of the central bank in the transition
Riksbank said it had not made any final decision regarding issuing e-krona and the way it should be done, but, the pilot version of e-krona which is being developed by consulting firm Accenture, would simulate e-krona usage in an “isolated test environment”. Some legal tenders also took place around the topic, questioning the true role of the central bank in the financial and the economic wellbeing of the country.
“The general public no longer having access to any form of central bank money can make it more difficult for the Riksbank to promote a safe and efficient payment system,” the Riksbank said in April. This could actually affect individuals who hold their own accounts in the bank but is also something that shall draw a clear line between the central and commercial banks of the country.
The e-krona pilot version, which will run until the next year, is based on blockchain technology, though shall it change or stay the way it is, is yet to be defined and uncovered by the official representatives. Though, one way or another, Sweden and generally Scandinavian countries are the least-cash depended countries globally.