The Riksbank plans to test its proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC) with commercial bank Handelsbanken as it moves on from having only simulated participants.
- The e-krona is set to move from the simulation phase to a testing environment with external participants, Reuters reported Friday.
- Handelsbanken, the country's largest bank by assets as of 2019, will work with the central bank to test how the CBDC could handle payments in the real world.
- The Riksbank announced in April that it would involve commercial banks in the next phase of the project, which could reach fruition within five years, according to Governor Stefan Ingves.
- “The project means the opportunity to participate in what may be among the first digital central bank-issued money in the world to be available to the public,” Handelsbanken said in a statement.
- Sweden appears to be second only to China among major economies in the advancement of its CBDC plans, Reuters said. While multiple other countries are in active discussion and research, Sweden and China are the only ones to have begun testing, with the latter's currently being rolled out to consumers on a pilot basis.