Sweden retailers are predicting that the country will stop accepting cash by 2025. As the New York Times is reporting ‘cash is disappearing faster than anyone could have thought’.
In fact, government officials are trying to save its demise by slowing it down. However, plans for the fast coming future are underway. Sveriges Riksbank, the Central Bank is running tests on the e-Krona digital currency.
The Cashless Society
Swedish individuals, businesses and commercial banks are already preparing for the cashless society that is coming.
Sweden’s central bank governor, Mr Stefan Ingves refuses to sit back and wait for the cash to disappear.
“Sitting back changes nothing,” he says.
Ingves also adds that the institution would do its best to deal with the situation by coping with the changes.
The government, on the other hand, is well aware of the radical changes within the money sector. Swedish citizens are beginning to understand the inefficiency of cash. This has inevitably led to the majority of businesses and individuals preferring digital alternatives.
In fact, the situation is so trendy, people are already lodging microchips in their hands to pay for food and transport with a gesture. The numbers are estimated to be in thousands.
Preparation For Changes
The government of Sweden has been advocating for these changes for some years now. Hence when practical alternatives presented themselves to the people, they didn’t hesitate. The changes were so rapid, the authorities didn’t notice when they happened.
Speaking with the New York Times, the head of the Swedish parliament committee Mats Dillen says the disappearance of cash would result in some major implications for the country and economy. He adds that Sweden has to be ready for what’s coming.
The incoming repercussions are forcing them to discern the changes, whether they are good or bad for them as an economy. It is also reported that lawmakers are exploring options and the fate of online payments in case of power failure, electrical grid failure, hackers, and even war.
You Are Not Alone
Sweden would be glad to know that they aren’t alone. China, Japan, and South Korea are undergoing a similar trend. China particularly is seeing a surge in numbers of people using AliPay, a digital payment network. The payment system is already valued at $150 billion.
As for Japan and South Korea, the decline in usage of cash systems has naturally translated in the increase in demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum. The two are officially the second and third largest crypto markets behind the US. Large Crypto exchanges like Bithumb, Upbit, and Bitflyer dominate these regions.
As for Sweden, it still remains a relatively small market for cryptocurrencies, thanks to the efficient and centralized payment networks which are more practical to the average citizen on a daily use. Merchant adoption remains the strongest weakness for decentralized currency, making centralized alternatives easier to utilize when dealing with online and offline merchants.
However, there is no denying that crypto is slowing becoming the most viable option for Sweden. Mainstream awareness and adoption are taking charge. There is no doubt that in the next few years it is set to become a prime spot for investors and users. But that will largely depend on if the regulations by the government will be favorable.