The e-krona pilot – test of technical solution for the e-krona
The Riksbank has initiated a pilot project to develop a proposal for a technical solution for a central bank digital currency, an e-krona, that can work as a complement to cash. The aim of the pilot project is to show, in a text environment, how an e-krona could look, work and be used by the general public.
The main aim of the pilot project is for the Riksbank to increase its knowledge of a central bank-issued digital krona. There is currently no decision on issuing an e-krona, how an e-krona might be designed or what technology might be used.
The Riksbank is conducting the pilot project in partnership with the consulting company Accenture to construct a technical platform for the e-krona together. The project is working to create, in an isolated test environment, a digital krona that is simple and user-friendly and, at the same time, complies with high requirements for security and performance. The work also includes comparing the solution tested in the pilot project with other possible solutions for an e-krona. The pilot is also conducting work to investigate the legal status and role of a possible e-krona.
The e-krona pilot’s technical solution
The technical solution is based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), a form of blockchain technology. The e-kronas in the tested solution are represented by digital units of value, known as tokens, in a distributed network based on a type of blockchain technology on the company R3’s Corda platform. The solution is based on it only being possible for e-kronas to be created and destroyed by the Riksbank - like physical cash. The e-kronas are distributed to Riksbank-approved participants in the e-krona network, such as banks, that run their own nodes with the possibility of ordering and distributing e-kronas to the general public.
End users are able to obtain e-kronas by opening digital wallets with their participants, such as banks. The digital wallet is linked to a payment instrument, such as a mobile application, that the end user can use to exchange bank money in an account with the participant in the network into e-kronas, as well as to execute and accept transactions. The user shall also be able to make payments via wearables such as smart watches and cards.
Conceptual illustration of the architecture of the e-krona network
A conceptual illustration of the architecture of the e-krona network in the tested solution is presented below. The token-based solution offers various possibilities for an e-krona, but the new technology also raises a number of questions that need to be investigated further. The report E-krona pilot Stage 1 describes and analyses the technical solution in more detail, together with the legal inquiries raised by the solution.
Transactions within the network are made through nodes that are run by the Riksbank and selected participants. 1: The riksbank's node, 2: Notary node, 3: The participants’ nodes, 4: End-users.
The riksbank's node
The Riksbank creates and destroys e-kronor that are represented by tokens.
A technical function operated by the Riksbank. It checks that a token has not been used before.
The participants’ nodes
The participants, for instance, banks and payment service providers, operate their own nodes and check the authenticity of the tokens.
Deposits/withdrawals are made with the aid of digital wallets, connected to e.g. a mobile app or a card.