Cryptocurrencies are rapidly gaining popularity all over the world. Governments and corporations are quickly realizing the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and with that, people are also becoming more comfortable with trusting these technologies. Nothing adds as much social proof and trustworthiness as an endorsement from the government or a giant tech company like Amazon and Facebook.
Lately, countries that have seen some of the largest amounts of progress and growth when it comes to cryptocurrencies, are the Nordic countries.
With the specific advantages that cryptocurrencies offer, we see them being used in previously unimagined ways. As we’ll see below, Nordic countries have started to heavily utilize cryptocurrencies in all sectors, varying between government, civil and legal, commercial, entertainment and many more.
Bitcoin for Online Gambling in Norway
Gambling is mostly illegal in Norway, as companies are not allowed to offer gambling services within the country. The only two exceptions would be Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping, both of which are owned by the government and are the only legally-licensed gambling providers.
If you’re from Norway and went to any online casino website, chances are extremely high that you won’t be able to make a deposit in your account. Most of the attempted card payments will be blocked instantly. Due to this, we often see casinos utilize Bitcoin as a method of payment and offer much larger bonuses for Norwegians on crypto payments. This is done as an encouragement for Bitcoin payments. With Bitcoin being virtually untraceable if used right, it allows companies to reach customers that would have otherwise been inaccessible due to government regulations.
Norwegian city With its own cryptocurrency
Liberstad is a “private city” in Norway that was built by Libertarians. It aims to create a society based fully on Libertarian values, with no government regulations and no taxes. They want to have a society where no one has to pay high mortgage and rent fees, and they’ll be sustaining it with voluntary mutual contributions from all citizens.
Here’s where it gets interesting – Liberstad has chosen to ditch all forms of cash and FIAT money, and instead has created its own personal cryptocurrency called city coin. City coin will serve as a sole payment solution for the city’s services, and curiously enough, it won’t be generated by classic mining as we know it. It instead has its own version of mining, a process called “staking”, where you stake some of your coins to fund a service of the city, for which you’ll get 20 coins back with each block mined. The higher the number of coins you stake, the higher the chance for your stake to be chosen.
City coin runs on its own blockchain engine called city chain, and is constantly improved and further developed. Liberstad is a fine example by Norway on how cryptocurrencies can reshape our future.
Sweden also has something similar, but on an even grander scale. Based on an initiative by Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, the country aims to go fully cashless by the end of 2020. They’ll be attempting to achieve this by introducing a new, unified online currency called e-krona. The currency will be stored locally in a card, or over at Riksbank itself, in an account that is easily accessible via the internet.
The actual development will be done by Accenture, an Irish-based tech giant that has hundreds of thousands of employees all over the world and has been operating since 1989. As for when it should be live, Riksbank’s goal is to have it ready by Dec 2020, but they claimed they’re ready to prolong its development should it be needed.
There have definitely been some concerns surrounding this subject though, with crypto enthusiasts and followers claiming it’ll be no different from actual money, as it’ll be a government-regulated and owned currency, and will be almost identical to actual FIAT money. The end of 2020 is not that far away, so we’ll learn soon!