With the world’s growing acceptance of digital money, the usage of cash is declining. It is not that hard anymore to imagine our totally cashless future. Sweden is a good example of country, which stays quite positive to these changes and is planning to rearrange the traditional economic system fundamentally within the coming years.
As it has recently been reported by New York Times, Sweden is on its way to become the first totally cashless society in the world, being forecasted to stop accepting cash by the end of 2025. But dramatic changes never come without any issues, so the country’s authorities are figuring out the societal costs of a cash-free future.
Online payment methods are widely spread across the country. According to the statistics, a fifth part of all 10 million people living in Sweden, do not use automated teller machines anymore, and up to 95 percent of the purchases made by 18- to 24-year-olds are tendered using either a debit card or smartphone app.
Roughly half of Sweden’s banks no longer accept cash deposits. Many bars, restaurants and shops across the country accept only digital payments, so that to avoid robberies. Moreover, up to 4,000 Swedes agreed to implant microchips, which allow for instant payments and other conviniences, such as opening doors with a wave of a hand.
The upcoming cashless future seems to be a problem only for elderly population, many of whom are uncomfortable with using digital payment methods. According to the president of the Swedish National Pensioners Organization, Christina Tallberg:
“We have around one million people who aren’t comfortable using the computer, iPads or iPhones for banking.”
Another issue to be solved is the possibility of electronic grid attacks, hackers, or power outages, which cannot but appear when is comes to digital finacial system. Swedish Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank has already begun testing a digital currency called the e-krona in a bid to put keep supply under governmental control.
Acording to the governor of Riksbank, Stefan Ingves:
“When you are where we are, it would be wrong to sit back with our arms crossed, doing nothing, and then just take note of the fact that cash has disappeared. You can’t turn back time, but you do have to find a way to deal with change.”
The similar cash-free trend can be observed in the world’s most progressive countries, such as Japan and South Korea, which are currently the second and third largest cryptocurrency markets behind the U.S. with large-scale cryptocurrency exchanges like Upbit, Bithumb, and bitFlyer dominating the global digital asset market.
Sweden represents itself a much smaller crypto market for the reason of its prevalent usage of centralized payment networks. But if the cash fades as it is predicted, Sweden could become a prime market for cryptocurrency users and investors, if supported by the government and favorable regulations.