Sweden could be the first economy to introduce its own cryptocurrency, called the e-krona


Sweden fans

Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, could become the first to introduce its own cryptocurrency.
Cash usage in the Scandinavian nation is dropping rapidly, making Sweden a prime candidate for an “official” cryptocurrency.
The introduction of the e-krona could come within a couple of years, although “2018 may be a little too soon,” according to HSBC’s James Pomeroy.

Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, is spearheading international cooperation on the development of officially sanctioned cryptocurrencies and could be the first to launch its own, according to a note from analysts at HSBC.

HSBC economist James Pomeroy sent a note to clients this week titled “Sweden’s big year: Can the economy overcome some challenges?”

Broadly, the note takes a look at the state of Sweden’s economy — which HSBC calls “one of the world’s most interesting” — before drilling down to the possible introduction of a so-called “e-krona,” something that might occur within the next couple of years, although “2018 may be a little too soon.”

Sweden’s economy has one of the lowest cash usage rates of anywhere in the world, with cash use often actively discouraged by shops and other businesses. There are even anecdotal tales of beggars and buskers having card terminals to take payments on the street.

The chart below shows just how rapidly cash use in Sweden is dwindling:

As such, it makes sense that the Riksbank is at the forefront of discussions of what a central bank issued cryptocurrency could look like.

As HSBC economist James Pomeroy notes, the Riksbank has “issued a number of research articles on the topic, with the suggestion being that as cash usage continues to dwindle, the central bank may need to find another way to provide their populations with access to payments that are not via an intermediary such as a retail bank.”

“The so-called e-Krona will have to be able to …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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