Norway CBDC Tracker

CBDC Information

Economic Information

Monetary Base


Cash Issued




Country Information

Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


Norway is in the pilot phase. The Norges Bank announced, after years of CBDC research, that it would move into experimental testing of CBDCs and is thus considered to be in the pilot phase.

CBDC History and Development

The Norges Bank began its work on CBDCs in 2016. One of the first results of this work came in 2018 when the Norges Bank published a report titled, “Digital Central Bank Money.” Despite being early to the CBDC conversation, the report immediately opens by noting that other countries are considering the idea of issuing a CBDC. Yet, the report is mostly exploratory in nature. It walks through different CBDC models, architecture, and factors to be considered. Ultimately, the report says, “It is too early to conclude whether Norges Bank should take the initiative to introduce [a CBDC.]”

In 2019, the Norges Bank’s working group published an update on its CBDC work. The update largely repeated themes from the first report and reiterated that more research is needed because “Digital central bank money raises complex issues” and “We have little international experience to draw on.” The biggest update was perhaps that the working group found that a CBDC could “function as a contingency solution in the event of a failure in the banks’ payment systems.”

In 2020, the Norges Bank published a status report on its CBDC project. The report largely summarized past findings. However, it did add that there was a renewed interest in using distributed ledger technology—something that was previously considered an unlikely option.

The Norges Bank’s working group published its next update in 2021. Building on prior work, the working group sought to address what problems a CBDC could solve, what characteristics it must have, and what options are most suitable for the task at hand. However, ultimately, the working group recommended that the Norges Bank should enter a fourth phase of work on CBDCs.

In 2022, the Norges Bank published a brief overview of its experimental testing. Notably, it said that much of the testing has been based on open-source code. However, it was then noted that open-source code might not be used for the final CBDC.

In another brief update, the Norges Bank announced in a 2023 Financial Infrastructure report that it would continue research and testing until 2025. The update largely reiterated past findings.

Then, in late 2023, the Norges Bank published a report on the fourth phase of its CBDC project. Governor Ida Wolden Bache said, “The current payment system in Norway functions well, which is why we should not proceed with undue haste. Nevertheless, against the backdrop of falling cash usage, the emergence of new forms of money and payment platforms and work on CBDCs in other countries, introducing a CBDC is more relevant now than when the project started.” The next phase is “intended to provide a basis for deciding whether Norges Bank will work to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC).”

Human Rights and Civil Liberties Concerns

Norway earned a 100 out of 100 in Freedom House’s 2023 Freedom in the World report. As such, there were no direct concerns related to the use of a CBDC. Even then, however, it’s important to recognize that the creation of a CBDC could open the door to risks to financial privacy and financial freedom.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.