Sweden’s intention to introduce an electronic version of its legal tender (eKrona) is not quite popular among its citizens. A recent survey conducted by the Swedish company, SIFO shows that at least 50 percent of the population is against the country’s central bank introducing electronic currency to complement cash.
The decision to introduce eKrona was announced last month by the deputy governor of Riksbank — the Central Bank of Sweden. According to earlier reports, the falling volumes of cash based transactions was responsible for the decision. The number of transactions involving cash and coins is said to have dropped by over 40 percent since 2009 and the inherent advantages of electronic currency made it sound like a good move at that time.
The Riksbank’s eKrona announcement was well received by economists, financial gurus and other prominent players in the fintech ecosystem. However, the general population is apprehensive about the future of a cashless economy. With less than 10 percent of the population in favor of digital equivalent of SEK, it is to be seen whether the central bank will still go ahead with it or not. Most people are not clear about the added value such a move can offer especially when there is no dearth of digital payment services in the current market.
Also, the survey revealed a weak Bitcoin ecosystem in the country. Among the 1268 people in the age group of 16 to 79 interviewed during the survey, 67 percent were found to have “some knowledge” about Bitcoin. But only 2 percent of them have actually used the cryptocurrency for trading or making transactions.
It is believed that the introduction of eKrona will pave way for a wider acceptance of Bitcoin and other alternative currencies in the community. The potential of Riksbank’s initiative catching up with other countries has been one of the most discussed topics as well. If the central bank decides to go ahead with the introduction of eKrona, it will pave the way for new digital services, at a much lower cost.
Ref: Breakit | Image: My International Adventure