Sweden’s National Bank has stated that Bitcoin is having no tangible effect on Sweden’s economy, with the majority of traffic being from international and not domestic senders and recipients.
The views, which Riksbank says are not official, were included in the latest issue of the Economic Review in an article by Björn Segendorf of the Financial Stability Department.
“It is mainly a matter of small companies and Bitcoin does not seem to have any broad acceptance as a commercial means of payment,” he writes.
Gathering data which showed that Bitcoin-Swedish Krona (SEK) exchange rates were less than 2% of Bitcoin-Euro and 1% of Bitcoin-US Dollar rates, Segendorf further noted that “The SEK is thus a minor currency in a Bitcoin context. It is also apparent that exchanging between BTC and SEK is a minor market when comparing it with the SEK 25 billion exchanged on average on the spot market to and from USD.”
With Bitcoin.se noting only 30 outlets accepting Bitcoin in Sweden at present, and Coinmap.org suggesting only 21, Segendorf may well have cause to extrapolate that retail acceptance going forward does not look to be a major phenomenon.
However, while uptake may be slow, Bitcoin in Sweden is by no means lying low.
Mathias Sundin, whose running for a parliamentary seat using nothing but Bitcoin donations we reported on earlier this summer, has won his campaign, becoming the first Bitcoin-only candidate in the world to hold office.
- Mathias Sundin
In addition to his current post as Deputy Mayor of Norrköping, Sundin will now be able to work on his election promises of, amongst others, “resist[ing] knee-jerk regulation of Bitcoin, other digital currencies, and disruptive innovation in general.”
“It is of the utmost importance that we send people to Parliament that understand what is happening, and don’t react with sweeping knee-jerk regulations or an outright ban of digital currencies altogether,” he summarized on his blog.
While the Riksbank’s sentiment meanwhile will raise few eyebrows, it may not be long before more significant developments begin to appear. Across the border in Denmark, a multi-million euro deal between Coinify and several partners, partly supported by funds contributed to by the Danish government, is an impressive example of the momentum slowly taking hold in the European Bitcoin space.
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