Sweden’s central bank has completed the first round of digital currency trials, the first phase of a pilot programme that could see a central bank digital currency rolled out across the country.
Sveriges Riksbank presented the results from its early trials in a recently published report, detailing its experiences so far of using the system backed by R3 Corda platform. The bank said it was able to identify several key issues that need resolving before a wider public rollout could be sanctioned.
According to the Riksbank, the main obstacle encountered during the trial was scalability, which it identified as a potential bottleneck to adoption.
“The solution tested in phase one of the e-krona pilot has met the performance requirements made in the public procurement. But this has taken place in a limited test environment and the new technology’s capacity to manage retail payments on a large scale needs to be investigated and tested further.”
The bank also identified issues around privacy, suggesting information attached to each transaction does not reveal personal data and is in compliance with banking secrecy laws.
“The Riksbank is currently analysing to what extent the information stored in the transaction history can be regarded as information covered by banking secrecy and whether it comprises personal data.”
Head of Riksbank’s e-krona pilot division, Mithra Sundberg, said the digital currency may require new legislation before it can be brought into widespread use in the country.
As a result of the wide range of issues thrown up by the trial, the bank has said it may now continue to run trials until 2026.
The report comes at a time of increasing competition between global central banks in developing central bank digital currencies powered by blockchain technology. It remains to be seen whether Sweden can overcome the issues raised in its preliminary pilot scheme.
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