As early as 1661, Sweden was the first country in Europe to introduce paper money. Meanwhile, Sweden is also the country in the world where the least cash is used. And in a few years, it should almost disappear completely.
Since 2017, the Swedish Central Bank has been intensively examining the introduction of a cryptocurrency. At the end of 2018, a report will be published. If that proves to be positive for the new currency, the country could test the electronic money in 2019 with a limited pilot project, says Gabriela Guibourg, chief analyst for payment methods at Riksbank - the Swedish central bank. The Riksbank would be the first major central bank in the world to introduce a state cryptocurrency.
But the implementation is still unclear. "We have no role models when it comes to how exactly we shape the electric money," said Swedish Vice-Chief of Cecilia Skingsley. According to Guibourg, the electronic money should be a platform to which all stakeholders, from banks and firms to individuals and governments, can join the central bank. The Swedes could then open an electronic purse at the Riksbank and exchange money for them. Money senders and recipients would be identifiable by name as for transfers. For criminals, terrorists and tax evaders, it may then be much harder to remain anonymous.