Christian Ander is one of the entrepreneurs making a big push for wide Bitcoin adoption in the Nordic countries. We had a chance earlier this week to speak with Ander, founder of Europe’s first over-the-counter exchange, BTCX.se, in Stockholm, about Bitcoin in Sweden and his company’s new point-of-sales device.
Cointelegraph: You’ve said before that it’s harder to get people in countries where they feel financially comfortable to adopt cryptocurrencies. What do you tell people in Sweden to get them interested in cryptocurrencies?
Christian Ander: My strategy nowadays is not to tell people how awesome Bitcoin really is, but to show them. People almost jump when they see how fast our point-of-sale solution is with Bitcoin. Usually, the transaction takes less than half a second.
CT: Can you tell us about the talk you just gave at the Stockholm Bitcoin Conference on predicting the future of Bitcoin from a holistic perspective? What does a holistic view of Bitcoin look like, and how does that change your predictions?
CA: Sure, for me the holistic view is to include what is and also the mindset of people. I also point out that no one knows the future, and the best way to predict it is to build it.
CT: You have written that Bitcoin today is in a similar stage of development as email was in 1985. Do you think email will be a useful model of development as Bitcoin moves forward? What has to happen over the next decade or so to make Bitcoin as intuitive to use as email has become?
CA: Email is a good example right now. What we see in a few years will be completely different. I believe biology will be a better analogy of the development of the Internet. Bitcoin is just the start of something new.
CT: Your February piece for Nyheter24 was immediately met with at least one commenter who said, “Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme.” Riksdag member Leif Jakobsson has said the same. What, in your opinion, motivates such reactions? How do you respond?
CA: The reason people think it's a pyramid scheme is that early adopters benefit from later adoption. In a pyramid scheme, there also must be a movement of money up the chain, which is not the case with Bitcoin. It is just a digital verified proof-of-ownership that has a market value, just as owning a house or a stock in a company.
CT: Can you tell us approximately how many businesses BTCX has signed up for its Bitcoin point-of-sale system? What have retailers and business owners told you about their experiences with accepting Bitcoin?
CA: I will let Patrik Forsberg answer. He is my product manager of the POS system. Patrik Forsberg: So far, we have just tested the POS system with a few test clients. Now, we are reaching for a bigger audience and working on a marketing campaign that I can tell you about in a week or so. I think that could be great and big news