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Swedish Public Rejects World’s First e-Krona Digital Currency

· January 2, 2017 · 8:00 am

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Bitcoin is king in 2017, but Sweden’s unpopular plan to create its pioneering digital currency ‘eKrona’ shows public understanding still has a long way to go.


Two-Thirds Know Bitcoin, 10% Want eKrona

Central Bank plans in November last year to launch the so-called eKrona in the country would have made Sweden the world’s first country to launch a national digital currency.

When the public was asked about it, however, their response was far from enthusiastic.

Cashless society

An official survey in December by research firm Sifo found less than 10% of people supported having eKrona available in addition to cash.

Not just that – despite two-thirds of respondents knowing what Bitcoin was to some extent – only 2% had actually used it before.

Pseudo-Innovation Does The Job

In a country where cash transactions have fallen 40% since 2010, it appears the current mood is one of satisfaction. The various means of transacting cash-free in Sweden seem to have catered to the needs of the vast majority of citizens. Indeed, DCEBrief notes that this acceptance of the status quo could be the reason why no one is crying out for a pioneering digital alternative.

“The [eKrona] initiative can help to accelerate the development of new digital services… which is positive,” Charlotta Wark, digital payment solutions director at Tieto, the software company that commissioned the survey, told the publication.

At the same time, there is a reluctance among consumers about the added value such an exchange can provide, not least at a time when more and more alternative digital pay services are launched.

The implications of using existing cash-free payment options have recently become a talking point, especially in terms of privacy. As India and Venezuela, and in future perhaps Pakistan and Australia launch an increasingly intense war on cash, the proposed replacements such as trackable biometric-authenticated payments are being met with criticism and even concern.

Bitcoinist_Biometric

While the centrally-controlled eKrona would not be exempt from the same trackability, its introduction would nonetheless provide an interesting window into mass digital currency adoption at work.

Who Needs a Centralized e-Anything?

Meanwhile on the other side of the decentralization curtain, Bitcoin is already above $1,000 apiece as rising international interest creates unprecedented demand and speculation.

As of January 2, its market cap has topped $16 billion, with higher prices in markets like China, as banks around the world are still asleep.

Price

Especially interesting as the watershed price line was crossed earlier today was the lack of profit-taking, which many forecasted would automatically trigger a price correction.

Nicolas Cary added further perspective when he announced Blockchain had surpassed 11 million user wallets – and interesting comparison with Sweden’s 5 million inhabitants!

What do you think about Sweden’s reactions to eKrona? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of shutterstock

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Led 06

Sweden to go Cashless, Hope for Bitcoin?

Source: bitcoin

Cashless society

Sweden could soon be a big advocate of bitcoin.

Also read: Visa: 2015 is the “Year Of Payments,” Bitcoin a Major Player

Sweden: The Potential Bitcoin Economy

In what could easily be the biggest “opening” for digital currency, Sweden is looking to swear off fiat money for good. That means no more paper money, no more coins, virtual means from here on out.

This is exactly what Bitcoin and its creators have wanted all along for every country. Bitcoin can aid nations, particularly unbanked ones, and put financial power back in the hands of the people, and now it looks as if Sweden is taking the hint and doing everything bitcoin has wanted for the world.

What’s even more important? Sweden is a country that is widely considered economically sound. It’s a country with one of the strongest and most prominent banking systems in the world. Just watch any action movie. Usually, the villain will ask his henchmen, “Has the ransom money been deposited into my Swiss bank account?” or something like that (Just watch Street Fighter and you’ll see what we mean), so the fact that a country as financially stable as Sweden is looking to make a full-time financial switch is not only exciting… It is revolutionary. From here on out, it’s possible we’ll see neighboring countries follow, and possibly the rest of the globe.

According to the New York Times, the country has already changed its banking structure heavily. There are already several financial institutions based in the Scandinavian country that neither accept nor issue paper currency. However, there may be problems with this route. According to the newspaper:

“Not everyone is cheering. Sweden’s embrace of electronic payments has alarmed consumer organizations and critics who warn of a rising threat to privacy and increased vulnerability to sophisticated Internet crimes. Last year, the number of electronic fraud cases surged to 140,000, more than double the amount a decade ago, according to Sweden’s Ministry of Justice.”

Other issues are presenting themselves as well. Refugees and older adults still prone to using cash for their everyday needs may be marginalized, and younger generations who use apps to pay for everything or who take out loans through their cell phones run the risk of falling into massive debt.

In an interview, former Interpol president Bjorn Eriksson has stated his thoughts and opinions on the matter:

“It might be trendy… But there are all sorts of risk when a society starts to go cashless… I don’t think that’s something they should decide on their own.”

Bjorn Ulvaeus of the Abba Museum, however, carries no cash at all, and cites personal safety as the primary reason a cashless Sweden would be perfect for Scandinavian citizens:

“We don’t want to be behind the times by taking cash while cash is dying out… There was such a feeling of insecurity… It made me think: What would happen if this was a cashless society, and the robbers couldn’t’ sell what they stole?”

Cash is certainly net dead yet in Sweden or its neighboring nations. In fact, digital currency only makes up for about two percent of the world’s economy, but Sweden is predicting a fast decline, and it wants to stay ahead of the game and avoid anything drastic down the line. With this in mind, one can’t help but wonder if Sweden will eventually become a major haven for bitcoin and related altcoins. The country recently introduced its latest bitcoin mining tax regulations, but brought a positive light to the situation when it announced bitcoin could be traded on the country’s Nasdaq.

Sweden isn’t exactly a country that’s turning its back on the digital currency, but it isn’t mentioning anything of further acceptance or integration. With the notion of a cashless society, however, the door is being left open for further implementation, and bitcoin’s future in Scandinavia could potentially reach a high note before we know it.

Would you like to see other nations follow Sweden’s lead? Do you think the whole world could benefit by going cashless? Post your comments below!

The post Sweden to go Cashless, Hope for Bitcoin? appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Sweden to go Cashless, Hope for Bitcoin?

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