Singapore and Sweden the next to countries looking to replace cash with a digital or blockchain currency
If the events taking place right now in India are any indication, then the rush by central banks and financial institutions to get rid of physical cash and move banking into purely digital environments are not too far away. Â And just this week alone two countries, Sweden and Singapore, are starting the process to implement either a digital, or blockchain based currency.
The Central Bank of Sweden is considering issuing a national digital currency to solve the problem of a dramatic drop in the domestic use of cash. The so-called e-krona may be introduced within two years.
âThe less those of us living in Sweden use bank notes and coins, the clearer it becomes that the Riksbank needs to investigate whether we should issue electronic money as a complement to the money we have today,âÂ Riksbank Deputy Governor Cecilia SkingsleyÂ toldÂ the Financial Times.
Sweden’s Riksbank is the worldâs oldest central bank, and was the first to issue paper banknotes in the 1660s.
Alternative methods of payment have been gradually replacing traditional cash in Scandinavian countries. The Danish government is considering the option of going completely cash-free for the countryâs shops and services. – Russia Today
Sweden is not the only Nordic economy to already be around 98% digital. Â In fact, in Denmark they are even issuing credit/debit card machines to the homeless so people can simply swipe a card on their portable POS systems to make a donation to a beggar on the street.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will soon test how it could issue digital currency using a blockchain-based interbank payment system.
According toÂ Bloomberg, the planned proof-of-concept will be supported by blockchain consortiumÂ R3CEV, as well as eight banks and an unnamed local stock exchange. The Development Bank of Singapore, HSBC, Bank of America, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi are all said to be participating. – Coin Desk
Perhaps the biggest roadblock for a worldwide completely digital monetary system is the power that physical cash, or in ancient days gold, silver, bronze, and copper coins, gives to individuals as control over money is one of the very basic tenets in regards to freedom. Â And just as early Americans fought tooth and nail to keep the government from instituting a private central bank which would print and control their monetary system, the same type of war is also being waged regarding the future of digital money, and its desire for centralization unlike that of Bitcoin.
Most people now use a myriad of digital formats for spending, savings, investing, and transacting, and in itself, money in a digital form is a huge benefit to mankind. Â But what remains is the ideological and psychological specter of not being able to demand possession of one’s money in a physical form that keeps most nations from going completely digital, and the growing loss of confidence in the world’s current fiat money systems are not providing the push banks feel they now need to get rid of all cash and put control of the entire world’s money into the hands and decisions of a few.
Kenneth Schortgen JrÂ isÂ a writer for The Daily Economist, Secretsofthefed.com,Â Roguemoney.net, and Viral Liberty, and hostsÂ the popular youtube podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.Â Ken can alsoÂ be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on theÂ Angel Clark radio show.