The small Nordic country of Norway may not be particularly notable on the global crypto map. With its 22 blockchain solution providers, the nation doesn’t stand out even at the regional level.
However, as the race to test and implement central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) accelerates every day, the Scandinavian nation is taking an active stance on its own national digital currency. In fact, it was among the first countries to begin the work on a CBDC back in 2016.
In recent years, amid a rise in cashless payment methods and concern over cash-enabled illicit transactions, some Norwegian banks have moved to remove cash options altogether.
In 2016, Trond Bentestuen, then an executive at major Norwegian bank DNB, proposed to stop using cash as a means of payment in the country:
A year before that, another large Norwegian bank, Nordea, also refused to accept cash, leaving only one branch in Oslo Central Station to continue handling cash.
This sentiment came in parallel with Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasm, as DNB enabled its customers to buy BTC via its mobile app, local courts demanded that convicted drug dealers pay their fines in crypto, and local newspapers widely discussed investments in digital assets.
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Last year Torbjørn Hægeland, executive director for financial stability at Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, outlined to the project’s goal of replacing cash use in the country:
The experimental phase of the Norwegian CBDC will last until June 2023 and end with recommendations from the central bank on whether the implementation of a prototype is necessary.
In September 2022, Norges Bank released the open-source code for the Ethereum-backed digital currencyRead more on cointelegraph.com