According to media reports, Mithra Sunberg, head of Sweden’s central bank digital currency project (CBDC) commented on the CBDCs and said that the bank doesn’t care as to how people issue their payments.
Sunberg opined that people feel irritated and agitated about CBDCs as they feel that it will increase the authority of the government over their money and its movements. In this context, she stated:
Neither the state nor the central bank has any interest in looking at how people pay for things. Privacy is an extremely important question when you’re talking about all types of digital money.
Sweden ran CBDC tests for international and retail remittance payments in September last year. Post that, in December, the Swedish central bank said it is “ready to be able to issue an e-Krona,” i.e. its CBDC.
Notably, in June, Cecilia Skingsley, the first deputy governor of Sweden’s central bank warned that a central bank-issued digital currency will not solve all existing problems. She added that not all countries will “play nice” with each other. Interoperability cannot be established or the desired way of CBDCs interacting.
However, the tone in which Sunberg spoke suggested that a final decision hasn’t been made yet about the Swedish CBDC. According to the Swedish central bank, an ideal flow wouldn’t put the bank in contact with the end customer. “We work somehow through intermediaries,” Sunberg said, but the question of “who does what” is still yet to be answered.
She also added that the topic of CBDC “remains a topical subject” for Sweden. Therefore, even though it will rank high in the central bank’s agenda, it will still be a question.
The run for CBDCs has attracted nations across the globe. Several countries have been progressing in their CBDC initiative. In the past week, the United Kingdom has made several comments regarding its digital Pound. In early February, the nation released a consultation paper to create the pathway for the rollout of a CBDC that could operate alongside the region’s fiat currency.
Recently, Chinese cities also announced a huge giveaway. The recent Lunar New Year period saw a major push by the Chinese government to increase the usage of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-CNY. Over 200 activities aimed at “promoting consumption” were launched across the country, with multiple cities giving away over 180 million yuan ($26.5 million) worth of e-CNY in the form of subsidies and consumption coupons.