Sweden’s central bank has cautioned the public against firms and individuals proffering to sell the e-krona, describing them as fraudsters. The e-krona is the electronic version of the krona, Sweden’s national currency. According to Sweden’s reserve bank otherwise known as otherwise known as Riksbanken, the e-krona project is yet to reach completion.
The bank points out that ‘no decision has been taken on issuing e-kronas’, thus all those purporting to sell the digital currency lacked credibility. Riksbank identified phone calls and the internet as the means of perpetration of the fraud.
According to the bank, “… 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.”
Therefore Riksbank has advised the public to report to the central bank in situations where they received offers to purchase the e-krona.
Dwindling cash usage
The move for the digital version of the Sweden national currency began in 2017. This project was proposed as a solution to the notable drift of Swedes away from cash usage. By 2017, physical cash circulation in Sweden was declining significantly, falling by 40% since 2009. The concept of the Sweden reserve bank adopting a digital currency was first considered in 2016.
At that time, Cecilia Skingsley, Risbank’s deputy governor acknowledged that a digital currency project was indeed pioneering.
“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.” Cecilia Skingsley pointed out.
There have been further slumps in cash usage in Sweden. As 2018 drew to its end, a report emerged revealing that by 2025, half of the Swedish retailers will not be accepting cash. This prospect looks realistic considering that some banks in the country had stopped handling physical cash entirely.
Such termination had put seniors as well as physically challenged persons at a disadvantage since they can’t use digital payment solutions.
This situation has prompted Sweden’s central bank to contemplate new ways of stimulating cash usage and circulation in the Scandinavian country. One proposed way advocated cash subsidization through slashing down costs incurred by banks in cash handling.
Cash can’t be fully replaced by e-krona
However, Stefan Ingves the governor of Sweden’s central bank has insisted that other digital payment vehicles like the e-krona can never fully take the place of cash.
“If the power supply is cut it’s no longer possible to make electronic payments. For reasons based purely in preparedness we need notes and coins that work without electricity.” Stefan expounded.