CBDCs being tested in Norway, Sweden, and Israel

The three countries work together with the Bank for International Settlements to test a CBDC for cross-border payments.

Tecnología September 29
Víctor de Castro

It seems that the central bank digital currency is booming. The thought that a CBDC and a cryptocurrency are the same is a very common mistake, as they cater to different interests. Cryptocurrencies empower decentralization, with Bitcoin in the lead, while CBDCs are the money we have always known, but in digital form. And many countries seem to be interested in promoting this technology. 

One of them is located in Northern Europe. In Sweden, the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of the Scandinavian country has followed the footsteps of peers in Israel and Norway. These and the Bank for International Settlements are testing instant payments via retail cross-border central bank digital currency. 

“This first-of-its-kind experiment will delve into technology, architecture and design options and trade-offs and explore related policy issues,” Beju Shah, director of BIS Innovation Center Nordic Center. 

This was announced this Wednesday, and the program is called “Icebreaker Project”. This will continue until the end of 2022 and the report of these tests, which is expected in the first quarter of next year, will be important. The BIS, the acronym by which the Bank for International Settlements is known, is thus immersing itself in its fourth cross-border CBDC project. 

It was previously already involved with mBridge, Project Dunbar, and Project Jura. Israel, Sweden, and Norway join a list of countries that have raised their interest in a future CBDC and have worked with the BIS. Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and China were involved in the mBridge project. 

If we take a look at the data provided by the Atlantic Council, up to 105 countries are exploring a central bank digital currency. In addition, ten countries already have the use of their own CBDC, although they are countries that are not among the most important in the traditional economy. 


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