Bitcoin has taken the world by storm. Even the people, institutions and banks that were ignoring it before have been forced to notice it. Governments have even started entertaining the idea of replacing their Fiat currencies with decentralized crypto money. Such is the hype and force with which the alternative currency market has come with. Different countries are looking at the possibility of adopting cryptocurrencies based on their specific and unique circumstances. Many central banks around the world are looking on to see how successful the pioneer countries will go.
Will Sweden be the first?
The number of coins and banknotes circulating in Sweden has fallen to a new low in 30 years. Sweden’s central bank, Riksbank, says that approximately less than 15% of all retail transactions in 2016 were made using hard cash. This is because most people are now using the now popular mobile payment services. Riksbank is now wondering whether to issue purely digital currency. The bank is now seriously looking into the now hugely successful Bitcoin’s blockchain technology.
China’s Cryptocurrency yet to be launched
In 2014, China put together a research team to look into how viable a cryptocurrency can be. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has run several tests taking it closer to becoming the first central bank to issue Cryptocurrency. The introduction of this currency will enable a person with a Smartphone or laptop to buy anything from popcorns to cars.
PBOC is in a tight spot though. Bitcoin exchanges and any new ICOs were banned in the country yet the success of the bank’s digital currency heavily relies on the success of these alternative currencies. For a long time now, the Chinese government has been the one issuing currencies and doesn’t want to cede crypto space to private companies that it has no control over.
Estonia to issue Estcoin
Estonia is pondering on issuing its own Cryptocurrency too. If the country succeeds, the currency will be called Estcoins. If all goes according to plan, it will be the first country to complete an ICO. Bitcoin and many new cryptos have been used for illicit purposes. Many governments are grappling with how their central banks would eliminate illegal use of digital money when they launch cryptocurrency.
Estonia will circumvent the illicit use of its Estcoin Cryptocurrency by using the e-Residency program. This program allows non-residents and citizens from around the world to take advantage of the country’s strong online structure. The idea is to align the ICO with the e-residency program hence creating a community which transacts using estcoins.
Russia wants to lead the way
In October 2017, in a closed door meeting, Vladimir Putin called for the establishment of a state-run blockchain-based digital currency. The currency will be called CryptoRuble. The introduction of this currency might make things easier for Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the country. It is currently illegal to send or receive payment in Bitcoin for anything here. Russian communications minister, Nikolay Nikiforov said that Russia will have to launch the Cryptocurrency and fast because its neighbors in the Eurasian Economic Community are planning on doing so before the end of 2017. The government is interested in Ethereum-based blockchain technology.
Who will be first?
Countries which are keen to launch their own cryptocurrencies are many. The reasons for wanting the alternative computer-authenticated currency vary from one country to another. Sweden wants to do it because paper money is no longer popular Russia wants to do it for power play gains and Ecuador because it wants to strengthen its already existing digital currency. It will be a matter of a few weeks or even days before we hear a country has launched its crypto.