Sweden’s central bank in mid-November opened a discussion about whether to introduce a digital currency, called ‘ekrona’, within two years. It would be the first significant central bank in the world to do so.
Cecilia Skingsley, Deputy Governor of Sweden’s central bank Riksbank, explained the move to supplement cash was being considered in response to a dramatic decline in the use of coins and notes among the population.
According to a central bank report at the end of October, cash withdrawals in Sweden have fallen by about a third over the last five years, both in terms of number and value. Additionally, the amount of notes and coins in circulation has fallen by 40% since 2009, with a rise in online shopping and card payments.