Sweden’s E-Krona Plan Faces Public Skepticism

Sweden’s E-Krona Plan Faces Public Skepticism

A significant fraction of the citizens in Sweden are still unwilling to embrace the use of e-Krona, even though most of them rarely use cash to conduc

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A significant fraction of the citizens in Sweden are still unwilling to embrace the use of e-Krona, even though most of them rarely use cash to conduct financial transactions. This is according to the results of a scientific survey that was recently carried out.

The country’s central bank had, in the recent past, proposed that the Swedes ought to start using e-Krona on a regular basis. E-Krona is a form of digital currency.

Incidentally, Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, is considered as the oldest central bank in the world. Are you aware that it issued banknotes as far back as the 1660s? More than ten years ago, Riksbank strongly hinted that it would start the development and issue of digital currency within the shortest time possible. Since the year 2009, physical circulation of cash has declined by 40%. The sharp decline is attributed to the Swedes’ increased preference for digital payments and cards.

The central bank had discovered that most people were carrying out cashless transactions. That’s why the deputy governor revealed that Riksbank was planning to issue digital currency later in the year (November 2016). According to financial experts, the e-Crown/ e-Krona, is a suitable digital substitute to the crown because they both have equivalent values.

However, a study that was carried out by Sifo, a social research firm in the country, established that most Swedes aren’t keen to start using the digital currency. According to BreakIt, the poll was conducted among 1,268 people between the ages of 16 and 79 years. It was carried out for a period of three days in December. It’s important to note that Riksbank officially made the announcement in the same month of December.

The study was conducted on behalf of Tieto, a digital payments firm that operates in Sweden. According to the survey, 50% of the respondents were vehemently opposed to the issue of e-Krona, while a third of them had absolutely no interest about the subject. This is despite the fact that 67% of the respondents knew about bitcoin, while 2% had actually used it. A paltry 10% of the respondents voted for the introduction of e-Krona.

The main reason why most Swedes aren’t interested in using e-Krona just yet is because they are contented with the alternative payment options that are already in existence. Even though bitcoin is widely known, most people in Sweden do not use it because they have seen a wide range of payment alternatives since 2001. That’s why many of them rarely use cash in the first place.

In simple terms, the Swedes started using digital currency several years ago, so there wouldn’t be much inherent value if Riksbank starts issuing the e-Krona.

If the initiative by the country’s central bank sees the light of day, Sweden will automatically become the world’s first country to develop and provide digital currency. This is according to Charlotta Wark, Tieto’s director.

Another factor that contributes to the unimpressive response to the e-Krona is the unavailability of a reliable case study, that is, a form of digital currency issued by another country’s central bank. That’s probably why most Swedes still have reservations about using a form of digital currency developed by Riksbank.

According to Governor Skingsley, head of the central bank, the situation is aggravated by the fact that since no other central bank has successfully undertaken the development and issue of digital currency, they have no precedent that they can follow.

The general expectation is that Riksbank will make its ultimate decision concerning e-Krona in the course of 2018.