End Excerpt –>
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.
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.
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.
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!
— Nicolas Cary (@niccary) January 2, 2017
What do you think about Sweden’s reactions to eKrona? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of shutterstock