Swedish Central Banker: Bitcoin is an Asset, not a Currency
The Deputy Governor of Riksbank, which is Sweden’s Apex Bank, Cecilia Skingsley has said that bitcoin could be called an asset, but it’s neither money nor a very stable store of value.
“Don’t Call it Money”
The Riksbank Deputy Governor present Bloomberg panel in Davos opined that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are more or less assets and do not yet qualify to be called money due to their volatile nature. Skingsley had the following to say at the World Economic Forum:
“In my view, cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, and others – the way I’ve seen them so far – they don’t meet the criteria to be called money. They can be called an asset, fine, but they are not a very good version of money because It’s not a very stable store of value where they fluctuate a lot. And it’s not a very efficient medium of exchange because you don’t buy your groceries with bitcoin.”
In Skingsley’s opinion, “good money” must be a stable store of value with adequate national demand similar to how copper and gold behaved as mediums of exchange in the days of old. “We see a rapid decrease in the value of circulation of notes and coins, and as a central bank, we are sort of neutral about this. We think that people should be able to use the payment methods that they find safe and efficient, as long as they are safe and efficient,” Skingsley continued.
Sweden is the number two most cashless nation in the world after Canada and is also, ironically, one of the first countries to start using paper money. On January 16, 2018, BTCManager reported that the Scandinavian nation was mulling over the creation of a national cryptocurrency, the eKrona.
The official also hinted that the development of the eKrona is a project that is “far away into the future” and that the Riksbank is still thinking about what features the cryptocurrency would possess.
It still isn’t certain whether the central bank would build the eKrona on blockchain technology. Skingsley iterated that:
“If we find that there is a need for a public sector digital version, we are looking into what sort of features that would have.”
While 2017 was an excellent year for cryptocurrencies, 2018 has seen the cryptocurrency ecosystem face attacks from governments and regulators, with some authorities formulating laws that are bent on collapsing the crypto economy.
The most prominent being the South Korean government’s recent series of laws that are hostile to the philosophical underpinnings of cryptocurrencies. Determining whether digital currencies will collapse entirely due to such pressures or if it will wax stronger is still uncertain. At the time of the press, bitcoin stands at roughly $10,200 and ethereum at $1,100.