Sweden Is Testing Its New Central Bank Digital Currency

Sweden Is Testing Its New Central Bank Digital Currency

Get ready for the e-krona!

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The country of Sweden has begun testing an e-krona, bringing it that much closer to the proper release of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The pilot program will be in operation for one year, until February 2021.

If and when the e-krona formally launches for use by the public, the idea is that this blockchain-powered currency would drive conventional payments and banking activities throughout the country. Instead of swiping a credit card or spending fiat currency, everyday transacting can move to the blockchain.

CBDCs are a hot topic these days, and Sweden is the second country (after the Bahamas) to unveil what would appear to be a true, working national cryptocurrency. The Bahamas launched a CBDC pilot program in December and plans a full rollout sometime in the second half of 2020.

China has teased that it is developing its own CBDC, but developments there so far aren’t as cohesive as Sweden and the Bahamas.

Launching a CBDC in Sweden would seem to fit existing Swedish sensibility — the country is already one of the most cashless societies in the world.


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Get ready for the e-krona!

Crypto Gains New EU Stronghold as Sweden Approves Swiss ETP Startup

Crypto Gains New EU Stronghold as Sweden Approves Swiss ETP Startup

Swiss crypto firm gets approval from Swedish authorities to offer its exchange-traded products to investors in the EU

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Swiss cryptocurrency financial firm Amun AG has gained permission to offer its products to retail clients in the European Union.

In a press release issued on Dec. 10, Amun confirmed it had received approval for a base prospectus it filed with Sweden’s finance regulator, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA).

Amun praises supportive Swedish regulations

Following regulatory approval, the firm can now market its various exchange-traded products (ETPs) to retail clients throughout the EU.

“We recognise that the regulatory framework in Sweden has been supportive of such initiatives and we welcome its deliberation,” Ophelia Snyder, president of Amun, commented in the press release. Snyder added that ETPs remain sought after throughout the 28-member bloc: 

“The combination of strong demand for ETPs in Sweden – especially in crypto assets – among private investors and institutional clients and our strong expertise in these product categories create ideal conditions for Amun’s entry into the Swedish and European Union markets for ETPs.”

More crypto ETPs to come

As Cointelegraph reported, Amun has played a crucial role in the expansion of Switzerland’s own crypto offerings, both domestically and overseas. 

Among them was an ETP dedicated to crypto exchange Binance’s in-house cryptocurrency, Binance Coin (BNB), which launched on the Swiss Stock Exchange, or SIX, in October. 

Going forward, the company said it plans to only increase the number of ETPs on offer, stating that it is “committed to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and looks forward to continuing a productive and collaborative relationship with new and existing partners in Sweden and the rest of the European Union.” 

SIX listed a Tezos (XTZ)-based ETP with staking rewards last month. The staking feature allows users to “stake” — or deposit — their funds to help maintain the Tezos network and passively earn rewards.

Last week, SIX also launched a physically-backed Bitcoin (BTC) ETP targeted at institutional investors. Swissquote bank will serve as a custodian for the product.


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Swiss crypto firm gets approval from Swedish authorities to offer its exchange-traded products to investors in the EU

Italy, Sweden, and Czechia to Lead European Blockchain Partnership

Italy, Sweden, and Czechia to Lead European Blockchain Partnership

Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic to lead the European Blockchain Partnership promoted by European Commission up to July 2020

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Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic will share the next one-year presidency of the European Blockchain Partnership, Cointelegraph Italy reported on July 9.

Following a meeting of the European Blockchain Partnership today in Brussels, the three countries took on the one-year presidency, which will last from July 2019 to July 2020.

Marco Bellezza, Legal Advisor to Minister Di Maio for communications and digital innovation and Coordinator of the Italian delegation of the EU Blockchain Partnership, said:

„The Italian Presidency of the EU Blockchain partnership is a first acknowledgment of the activity carried out on this front on the impulse of the Minister Luigi Di Maio, with a view to giving Italy a leadership role in the European projects on Blockchain. This is a unique opportunity to further promote the knowledge and use of this technology for the benefit of citizens and businesses by strengthening cooperation within the EU.”

Italy joined the European Blockchain Partnership last September. The partnership is an entity promoted by European Commission five months earlier as a „vehicle for cooperation amongst Member States to exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields and prepare for the launch of EU-wide [blockchain] applications across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors.”

In February, the Italian House of Representatives approved a bill defining distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) such as blockchain. At the time, Maria Laura Mantovani, a member of the Italian Parliament in the Movimento 5 Stelle party, told Cointelegraph Italy that a favorable use case for blockchain is its application in online voting.

Last month, the Italian Banking Association announced that Italy’s banks will integrate DLT into internal processes to boost settlements. The deployment of blockchain is also set to improve transparency in transactions between banks and efficiency of communication between counterparties.


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Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic to lead the European Blockchain Partnership promoted by European Commission up to July 2020