An increasing number of central banks are exploring the feasibility of issuing central bank digital currencies. In order to keep pace with developments and have the opportunity to influence events going forward, the Riksbank is participating in several international collaborations on central bank digital currency.
Since 2020, the Riksbank has been a member of an international working group with participants from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the central banks of Canada, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The aim of the collaboration is to share lessons learned, create a common vision and discuss the way forward for central bank digital currency that is available to the public.
The Riksbank has also led several fields of activity in the G20 countries’ project to improve cross-border payments. One of these fields of activity is investigating how central bank digital currency can be used to simplify cross-border payments (see The Riksbank is working to improve cross-border payments).
FACT BOX – The ECB and many countries are preparing their own central bank digital currencies (CBDC)
An increasing number of central banks have begun to consider the implications of a cashless future and the need for central bank digital currency.
Since autumn 2021, the ECB has been exploring how a digital euro could be designed and distributed to retailers and the general public. In September 2023, according to the current timetable, it will decide whether to launch the realisation phase. Central banks in other countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India and China, are also exploring the need for a central bank digital currency and what this could look like. In a survey conducted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), 90 per cent of 81 central banks surveyed said that they are actively working on issues related to central bank digital currency.
In some countries, a central bank digital currency for the public has already been issued. In October 2020, the Central Bank of the Bahamas issued the Sand Dollar, becoming the first country in the world to have a central bank digital currency. Since then, Nigeria has launched the digital currency eNaira and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has issued Dcash.