Swedish Central Bank Head: Facebook’s Libra Was A ‘Shake The Tree’ Event To Kick Start Reform
Sweden’s central bank chief has explained that Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency should serve as a catalyst for central banks around the world to rethink their role and reform to incorporate the digital age.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe Stefan Ingves, governor of the Riksbank, explained that the Facebook’s led Libra project was an ‘incredibly imperative catalytic event’ that is forcing central banks around the world to rethink their primary aspect of money production and control.
The governor explained that part of the job for every central bank is to issue money that is convenient for use by the citizens of the country and the time has come for central banks to factor in the digital era or age when it comes to production of money.
According to Ingves, the Riksbank has had to reconsider its money development procedures in the wave of private currencies that have mushroomed in the recent past. In light of this, the Riksbank has been looking at the potential of issuing digital money even as use of cash in Sweden has declined tremendously in the recent past. Most of retail outlets in the nation do not accept physical or fiat currencies and are discouraging their customers from paying in cash.
The swedish central bank is in the process of piloting a digital currency dubbed e-krona before the end of the year and could be rolled out after the assessment of the piloting stage. According to Ingves, creation of a new currency is almost done and marks an unprecedented event that occurs only once after various centuries.
Sweden is not the only country that exploring the digital money aspect. Since Facebook announced its plans to venture into the digital currency market with its Libra cryptocurrency in June. Key among them is China which is developing its own digital currency to counter Libra with Chinese central bank announcing the project is almost done and launching will be done soon. Additionally, Swiss central bank announced last week that it was looking at how the virtual currencies could be used in trading.
CoinDesk reports that the Libra Association met in Geneva on Monday to agree on an official charter for its 21 initial members.