In an attempt to leave paper money behind for good, Sweden is looking for ways to go cashless. And—in promising news for the crypto space—Bitcoin’s “being promoted as a leading option” in the Scandinavian nation.
“Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries’ markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden,” said Niklas Arvidsson, an industrial economics researcher in Stockholm whose 2015 study predicted Sweden would be the world’s first cashless nation.
Indeed, such a reality is almost here. Over half of Swedish banks already refuse to hold or accept cash deposits. This dynamic has made cards and smartphones, not cash, the dominant form of “money” in the nation.
And a wildly popular banking app called Swish has catalyzed the shift toward all-things-digital even further, as Swish is currently used by over 3.6 million Swedes and allows instant transfers between any of Sweden’s 6 major banks.
These unique circumstances have inspired the nation’s central banks to begin studying whether adopting a government-backed cryptocurrency would be viable, with Bitcoin being considered a main contender.
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) October 1, 2017
But Bitcoin isn’t even the only option. Officials with knowledge of the situation say that creating a new cryptocurrency explicitly for the Swedish people is not out of the question at this stage in the process. Bitcoin would simply be convenient, of course, because it’s already well established.
Bitcoin was, by its very nature, created to avoid government control. The Swedish government would therefore perhaps have to find a way to create a currency on the Blockchain whilst maintaining government control to make sure it remains a stable store of value for the country’s population.
And one of the reasons why Bitcoin could be so particularly viable for Sweden is that, in the country’s shift to a cashless society, people without bank accounts—the unbankables—could be left behind. Naturally, then, Bitcoin would be a seamless solution here: no bank account is required for use, particularly with the rise of Bitcoin ATMs all across the globe.
So just like some people envision banks conducting all their transactions in crypto, a growing number of Swedes envision the day when all their personal transactions will be in Bitcoins and the like.
And it’s mainstream adoption like this that could catapult Bitcoin prices higher than ever in the mid-term.
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TLDR: Sweden is looking to ditch paper money permanently, and Bitcoin is increasingly being promoted as a promising alternative solution.