Sweden Central Bank Publishes Final Report on CBDC Project

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The Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, has concluded its digital krona pilot project with the release of its final report, shedding light on the experiences of end-users and focusing particularly on offline functionality. The findings reveal a mix of outcomes, highlighting both advancements and challenges in the development of a digital currency.

Released on March 20, the fourth and final report delves into a novel model for offline retail transactions, diverging from the approach proposed in earlier phases of the pilot project. 

As reported earlier by TheCoinRise, the United States Federal Reserve stated that CBDC remains a significant focus for central banking.

Sweden Central Bank Details ‘Shadow Wallet’

Unlike the previous model where offline transaction data was stored on mobile phones, the Sweden central bank is now exploring the integration of a “shadow wallet” within the online system alongside a payment card, envisaged as a stored-value card. This dual approach aims to enhance transaction efficiency and ensure seamless offline functionality.

The report from the Sweden central bank outlines four key use cases examined during the pilot, including funding and defunding the payment instrument, offline point of sale (POS) payments utilizing near-field communication, offline transfers between two cards, and imposing restrictions on card balances and transaction volumes.

Complexities

However, challenges persist, particularly regarding user-friendliness and security. The reliance on mobile phones for communication introduces complexities and compromises security, requiring numerous steps for user-to-user payments to be deemed secure. 

Moreover, issues related to synchronizing payment cards and preventing replay attacks necessitate robust mechanisms to safeguard transaction integrity and liquidity.

Central Bank of Sweden Proposes Implementing Counters

To address these concerns, the central bank of Sweden proposes implementing counters to synchronize offline payments and enforce restrictions on card transactions. Additionally, digital certificates are utilized to ensure the security of instructions transmitted between payment cards and the intermediary, leveraging R3’s Corda platform.

CBDC Explosion Around the World

Nigerian Central Bank (CBN) has forged a partnership with blockchain infrastructure firm Gluwa for its CBDC, the e-Naira. The bank has introduced its Credal technology to the e-Naira ecosystem.

Further, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) shared further insights into its ambitious plans to explore the wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) of the Philippines. Six prominent domestic banks—BDO Unibank, China Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Union Bank of the Philippines, and Maya Philippines—are actively participating in the wCBDC pilot alongside the BSP.

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