Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, recently issued a statement urging Swedish citizens to be wary of false information and scams related to its proposed e-krona central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to the bank, various scam campaigns have been presenting themselves as Riksbank-authorized e-krona sellers.
As the Riksbank statement notes:
In 2017, the Riksbank started a project aimed at examining whether the krona needs to be issued in an electronic form, an ‘e-krona’. The project has not been concluded and no decision has been taken on issuing e-kronas.
However, on certain websites and in social media, claims have been made that it is possible to purchase e-kronas. The Riksbank has also been contacted by individuals describing how they have been called by companies claiming to be selling e-kronas on behalf of the Riksbank.
Like many other central banks around the world, the Riksbank has been examining the potential benefits of issuing a CBDC, largely due to the country’s declining reliance on cash transactions. Available data suggests that cash circulation in Sweden has declined by more than 40% in the last decade as Swedes increasingly turn to new digital payment options.
In late 2016, Riksbank deputy governor Cecilia Skingsley said:
“The declining use of cash in Sweden means that this is more of a burning issue for us than for most other central banks. Although it may appear simple at first glance to issue e-krona, this is something entirely new for a central bank and there is no precedent to follow.”
At the time, Skingsley also suggested that an e-krona would be “as revolutionary as the paper note 300 years ago” and noted that it would raise several questions about issuance, design, and impact on financial stability and monetary policy.
For now, however, the Riksbank is advising Swedes to ignore false claims suggesting that the e-krona already exists. In its statement, the bank urged any citizens who have encountered an offer to buy e-kronas to contact the bank at [email protected]