The future marginalization of liquidity and the consequential problems led the National Bank of Sweden (Riksbank) to conceive and subsequently launch a project for the development of a cryptocurrency, known as “e-krona“, to introduce electronic Swedish krona.
E-krona would be the state cryptocurrency issued by the central bank: a secure and alternative payment tool to the digital market, the only one that momentarily provides digital money and different payment methods.
This currency, when and if available to all Swedish citizens, will reduce the risk of weakening the national currency caused by competing private currencies. E-krona will keep the integrity of transaction data intact and safeguarded.
The Riksbank has thus expressed itself:
“Digital money is a credit towards a private player, as opposed to money which is a credit to the state. An e-krona would offer the public continuous access to the monetary resources of the Central Bank, as traditional money has done, but in digital form”.
The implementation and development of the e-krona project, in need of testing, led the Swedish National Bank, in agreement with the government, to undertake a collaboration with Accenture for the installation of a technical platform suitable for multiple tests, aimed at making the use of the digital krona safe and easy to use.
The new cryptocurrency must be inserted in a digital wallet and through an app, it will be possible to make payments, deposits and money transfers. The app must be able to be installed on devices such as digital watches, smartphones and cards in order to help the user make transactions immediately.
The Accenture partnership will expire in early 2021 but may be extended for a further 7 years.
As can be seen from the two Riksbank reports, the tests are performed in an environment called the “e-krona network” which consists of 2 phases. In the first phase, the Riksbank will distribute e-krona to the participants in the network, i.e. the bank’s branches; in the second phase, the branches will distribute the money to end-users who are also participants in the network.
How does the Swedish cryptocurrency work?
Users must, as a matter of priority, deposit their reserves within the branches in order to obtain e-krona and subsequently be able to make the respective payments. This is done via the RIX system, the current central payment method at the Riksbank where transfers between the accounts of the different banks are handled.
The consumer and the merchant can respectively control and manage their digital wallet by installing an app on a mobile device and on the cash register. After activation of the digital wallet users can use e-krona both to make and receive payments and transactions from their bank account to the wallet.
The entry of new users into the network, as private, can only be managed and enabled by the Riksbank and only the supply or redemption of e-krona will take place via RIX.
The participants who have had access to the e-krona network will see their transactions recorded thanks to the R3 company’s Corda DLT, the platform on which the network is based.
Payments will be mediated by public sector agents; the issuance, reimbursement and settlement of e-krona will be the responsibility of the National Bank. The network, mainly intended for payments of small amounts between consumers, businesses and authorities, could guarantee its anonymity.
In order for this project to be possible, the Riksbank must constantly carry out appropriate evaluations taking into account the complex issues concerning society as a whole.