Ever since Bitcoin’s initial price-hikes several years ago, cryptocurrencies have been dominating the finance field and have monopolized everyone’s attention.
Having reached as high as roughly $20,000 back in 2017, Bitcoin’s actual purpose and the project are sometimes overshadowed by its more common object of attention, which is everyone’s rags-to-riches dream of being a bitcoin millionaire.
In the meantime, tech-savvy, practical companies are actually noticing what cryptocurrencies and technologies like Blockchain can accomplish, and are seeing their practical applications and benefits. As an example, top online casinos in Norway are already taking steps towards the implementation of cryptocurrencies as a payment method due to their numerous advantages like speed, low fees, and unparalleled security that they offer. Implementation of E-krona will only aid such developments.
Global, mega-corporations, and governments are quick to get ahead of the curve and are already making massive efforts to become early adopters of the technology. New Zealand has made major steps towards cryptocurrency spread when they legalized payout of crypto salaries, becoming the very first country to do so.
One of the most interesting upcoming developments is Sweden’s plan to go fully Cashless by implementing its own cryptocurrency called e-krona.
Sweden’s Cashless Future
Cash usage has been steadily declining in Sweden in the last few years. This, coupled with the ever-increasing amount of convenient online payment methods and the rise of cryptocurrencies, has led to Riksbank, the Swedish central bank, looking into the possibility of creating one universal digital currency for the whole country.
Riksbank’s vision is an electronic currency that can either be stored locally in a card or a mobile phone bank, or over at Riksbank itself, in an account.
The currency and its code will be developed by Accenture, a company that has been on the market since 1989 and currently has roughly 459,000 employees working for them worldwide.
Riksbank aims to have it by Dec 31, 2020, but they’re open to extensions in case they’re needed. Tests are undergoing as we speak, and they’re progressing in a rigorous manner, to ensure as many practical applications and situations are tried out as possible before the launch.
The currency, seeing as it’ll be issued by the central bank of Sweden, will have the legal status and characteristics of regular, centralized FIAT money.
What to expect?
Riksbank seems to be very serious and committed to the matter. They’ve been observing cryptocurrencies and their technology closely for some time now. Stefan Ingves, the head of Riksbank, called Facebook’s Libra “an incredibly important catalytic event”, stating that such technologies encourage the world’s central banks to brace themselves for worldwide digital transformation.
Needless to say, implications are big, and this will be affecting most of the industries, ranging from finance and legal all the way to entertainment.
Considering cash money’s almost universal discontinued use in Sweden, this won’t be that much of a dramatic change for its populace, and won’t have any major acceptance problems. Therefore, it’s mainly up to Riksbank and Accenture to deliver a viable product for people, and if they do, there’s no reason for people of Sweden not to love it.