Cryptocurrencies in Sweden

We take a look at the cryptocurrency market and its history in Sweden. How does The Unigrid Foundation intend to help promote and adopt cryptocurrencies in Sweden?

Cryptocurrencies in Sweden

Even though Sweden has a long history with the cryptocurrency market, adoption of Bitcoin and other "open" cryptocurrencies has been slow and tedious. A number of companies have operated in the Swedish market since the commercial trading of Bitcoin began. Some businesses that come to mind include Btcx (founded in 2012) and Safello (founded in 2013). These businesses allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and exchange them with fiat.

While consensus is slowly shifting, it's clear that banks in Sweden were originally very sceptical of Bitcoin.

Back in 2015, there was only one of the six biggest banks in Sweden that tolerated Bitcoin companies and allowed them to open a bank account. The other big banks simply refused businesses. Even today, banks regularly refuse private persons and businesses to open an account if their work involves cryptocurrencies. This is in violation of Swedish regulations and the requirements from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority:

Everyone (including firms) is entitled to a deposit account according to the Deposit Insurance Act, and all consumers residing in the EEA are entitled to a payment account with basic functionality, such as a debit card, payment and transfer services and other supplemental services if the firm offers such as part of its product range. (source: Finansinspektionen / Sweden's financial supervisory authority)
The Financial Supervisory Authority in Sweden is responsible for financial regulation in Sweden. It handles oversight, regulation and authorisation of financial markets and their participants. The agency falls under the Swedish Ministry of Finance (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The resistance from the big banks is likely a big reason for the slow adoption of cryptocurrencies in Sweden. The Unigrid Foundation strongly believes that banks and business need a bigger understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and that they need to see the advantages, not the problems. With the foundations employees having lots of experience teaching, one of the future goals of the foundation is to educate. Not only to educate students but also to educate the institutions and people in power in Sweden. That will help the Unigrid network grow and become the market leader that the network has the potential to be.  

The Swedish krona is going digital

While commercial and private adoption of open cryptocurrencies is a slow process in Sweden, the Swedish Riksbank is currently developing and investigating the possibility to issue a digital complement to cash, a so called e-krona. Quoting the Swedish Riksbank:

An e-krona would offer the general public continued access to state money, issued by the Riksbank, but in digital form. In that the e-krona would be digital, it would be better adapted to our digital society than cash is, and it could be used in situations where it is not possible to pay with cash now.

The project started back in 2017 and is currently under development in a pilot phase. You can read more about the e-krona project on the official site.

Aiding Sweden to further pursue the blockchain market

At the moment, Sweden is trailing behind when it comes to adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. While private adoption does not equal corporate adoption - the overall situation and adoption level is not looking good. The most progressive region is South America, where a big portion of the the population is using cryptocurrencies.

This twitter post by @crypto_tolkien shows us the current situation. Sweden is trailing behind the rest of the western countries and South America. In Sweden, less than 5% of the population has ever owned or used cryptocurrencies. This show that it's no coincidence that El Salvador, a South American country, is the first country in the world to officially declare Bitcoin legal tender.

The Unigrid Foundation exists as a community beneficial foundation that was created to increase the understanding of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies and to promote and further the adoption of Unigrid, the Unigrid network, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.  We want Sweden to get ahead in the blockchain industry. Through education and cooperation we want blockchain, and especially the Unigrid network, to be where you go to do your everyday digital business.

We need to see the regulations change to help blockchain and cryptocurrencies become the technology of the future. For that to happen, people need to get a better understanding of what we are talking about.

Working together, we can make a big difference and promote market expansion in Sweden and Europe. For more information about Unigrid and The Unigrid Foundation please visit our website.