When Sweden’s Riksbank announced in November that the nation might be launching its own digital currency within the next two years, many in the FinTech community reacted positively. The central bank at the time noted that they were considering the creation of the eKrona due to the 40% reduction in cash transactions that the nation had experienced over the last seven years. Since the public already seemed to be moving away from cash and to other payment methods like credit cards and online commerce, the idea of issuing a new electronic currency seemed like a move that everyone could get behind.
According to a December Sifo survey conducted for software company Tieto, however, the public apparently doesn’t see it that way.
The results of that survey show that roughly half of respondents were opposed to the creation of the eKrona. Another third of those surveyed expressed no interest in the topic. And fewer than one in ten surveyed Swedes supported the creation of a new digital currency to complement their existing cash.
That lack of support may be at least partially explained by some of the survey’s other findings. For example, much of the public seems to believe that they already have access to a sufficient variety of digital payment options. Viewed from that perspective, a digital krona probably seems unnecessary. Actual familiarity with digital currencies almost certainly plays a role in public opinion too. Despite the survey’s finding that two-thirds of respondents claim to have at least some knowledge about Bitcoin, a mere two percent admit to having used it.
As Tieto digital payment solutions director Charlotta Wark explained,
"Were e-crown to become reality, Sweden would become the first country in the world with its own digital currency. The initiative can help to accelerate the development of new digital services in the area, which is positive. At the same time, there is a reluctance among consumers about the added value such an exchange can provide, not least at a time when more and more alternative digital pay services are launched.”