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Accepted Paper:

Banking on digital money: Swedish cashlessness and the fraying currency tether  

Author:

Gustav Peebles (The New School)

Paper short abstract:

As cash has suddenly gone missing from Swedish life, a growing range of citizens and institutions have sounded the alarm. The Swedish central bank's response, which includes issuing the world's first national digital currency, charts a course that all central banks must consider in the near future.

Paper long abstract:

As cash has suddenly gone missing from Swedish life, a growing range of citizens and institutions have sounded the alarm that its disappearance threatens not only cherished egalitarian values, but even the capacity of the state to deliver and monitor a standard payments infrastructure. Across the world, national currencies—public goods that emerged out of a previous era of currency proliferation— are now competing with private alternatives. As paper and coins fall into disuse, the funding structure that supports these public goods could potentially wither away, while their capacity to bind together states and citizens diminishes in equal measure. The Swedish central bank's response to these threats, which includes issuing the world's first national digital currency, charts a course that all central banks must consider in the near future.

Panel P057
Digital encounters, cashless cultures: Ethnographic perspectives on the impact of digital finance on economic communities