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Thursday, 5 November 2020

Covid has fast tracked Sweden into cashlessness and lawmakers are struggling to manage risks

Sweden is going cashless — whether their central bank is ready or not: In a country where even children’s pocket money is digital, the hidden risks of going completely cashless are at the forefront of lawmakers’ minds. Digital networks failing or cyberattacks could lead to serious problems in the country’s monetary system, meaning that enough physical cash must be printed as a failsafe, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves told Bloomberg. The pandemic has only quickened the move to digital transactions and Sweden’s central bank is now studying ways to stay relevant while ensuring citizens have access to real money.

This might necessitate a new definition of legal tender and require banks and businesses “to maintain some form of a minimum capacity” to handle physical banknotes, Ingves said. The country has been forced to fast track the development and introduction of an electronic currency, the e-krona, amid the changing habits.

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