Norway’s Central Bank said on Thursday it is ready to move ahead and start testing technical solutions for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) over the next two years.

  • In an announcement, Norges Bank said the motivation for research into CBDCs remains strong as many other central banks around the world are carrying out similar experiments. 
  • It has been four years since Norges Bank began researching CBDCs and the bank believes it is now ready for the next step, which involves “technical testing” with more in-depth analysis looking into the implications of launching a CBDC.
  • The central bank said payment technologies have evolved at a rapid pace, and cash payments in Norway are now probably the lowest in the world.
  • “Central bank cash provides the payment system with a number of important attributes that may be relevant to retain and develop further by issuing a CBDC. Additional knowledge is necessary for us to be able to decide whether issuing a CBDC is appropriate,” said Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen.
  • No timeline has been revealed for when a CBDC will be launched in Norway, “any introduction of a CBDC will still lie some time in the future,” said the bank in a statement.
  • Earlier this month, the Bank of Japan announced plans to begin phase one of experimenting with a CBDC by conducting experiments on the basic functions such as issuance, distribution, and redemption.
  • Norway’s neighbor Sweden may have a CBDC within five years, according to Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves.
  • In the meantime, China has been testing platforms on which the digital yuan can be freely traded with other fiat currencies. 

Read more: BOJ Starts Central Bank Digital Currency Experiments

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