April 24, 2021

World’s Most Cashless Place Takes Next Step Toward Digital Money

Discover what’s driving the global economy and what it means for policy makers, businesses, investors…

Discover what’s driving the global economy and what it means for policy makers, businesses, investors and you with The New Economy Daily. Sign up here

The central bank of Norway, where old-fashioned cash is now used less than anywhere else in the world, says it’s time to take the next step in exploring the introduction of a digital currency.

Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen, who in the past has seemed less enthusiastic about central bank digital currencies than his peers, says the case for looking into their feasibility now “has been strengthened.” The bank plans to spend the next two years building its knowledge of the area, and doing “experimental testing of technical solutions” to make sure it understands the “purpose and consequences” of introducing a CBDC, he said in a report published on Thursday.

The bank has already spent four years on preliminary research, but has remained on the fence on the subject as others move ahead. Central banks globally are racing to respond to widespread cashlessness by developing their own digital currencies, spurred by the embrace of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as private initiatives including Diem, which is backed by Facebook Inc.