Ever since the inception of Bitcoin, there has been continued speculation around it. There are several Bitcoin cynics who believe that it’s just a bubble and will burst anytime soon. However, there are several crypto enthusiasts and financial experts who firmly believe that Bitcoin is here to stay and some other cryptocurrencies will also pass the test of time.
It’s not just the financial experts who hold different opinions regarding the future of cryptos but governments are also reacting differently. On one hand, there are countries that are banning the trade of virtual currencies while some are quite open to this latest technology. As such, this ongoing debate has shrouded the crypto world with uncertainty. However, despite such conflicting views, the crypto market is only getting bigger with every passing day.
When China banned ICOs and closed down Bitcoin exchanges, skeptics were hoping that the crypto market will suffer a big jolt. However, cryptocurrencies gained traction rather quickly. It is due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the power of their underlying blockchain technology that it’s hard for governments to ignore cryptos. In fact, some countries are increasingly exploring innovative blockchain technology and have already adopted digital currencies in some form. Moreover, unlike countries banning bitcoin and other digital coins, there are some countries that have already developed their own digital currencies. This clearly shows that cryptocurrencies are here to stay as more countries are expected to roll out their own national digital currencies. However, as compared to Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies, the government will have control over their state-backed cryptocurrencies. Let’s take a look at the countries which have either launched or are going to roll out their own cryptocurrencies.
In 2015, Ecuador became the first ever government to have a fully functional state-run electronic payment system. The country uses US dollars as its currency and made advancement in deploying digital currency to support its monetary system. It developed ‘Sistema de Dinero Electronico’ for the purpose of improving the efficiency of the country’s monetary system. “Electronic money is designed to operate and support the monetary scheme of dollarization,” stated Diego Martinez, a delegate of the President of the Republic to the Board of Regulation and Monetary and Financial Policy. This electronic system also aims at saving the money needed for exchanging old notes which costs the government $3 million annually. The cryptocurrencies are stored in digital wallets which can help the country in saving costs of exchanging old paper notes. Moreover, now the Ecuadorian residents can pay for public services without using cash.
With the launch of Petro, Venezuela became the second country in the world to have its own national cryptocurrency. In view of the ongoing economic crisis, acute food shortage, and soaring inflation rate, the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro decided to solve this crisis by creating its own national crypto. Petro is backed by the mineral and oil reserves of the country and Maduro believed that it would help Venezuelans in overcoming the financial blockade. However, Petro received the backlash of the Venezuelan opposition as they doubt its credibility.
Tunisia is one of the first countries to exploit the applications of blockchain and come up with its own national digital currency. In 2015, with the help of universal contracting platform known as Monetas, the country successfully boosted its eDinar digital currency by using the blockchain. Now, it is possible to transfer money, as well as pay for goods and services such as bills by using eDinar. Moreover, this digital currency can also be used to manage official government identification documents.
Japan has always remained friendly towards cryptocurrencies and now it is likely to launch its own cryptocurrency ahead of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The digital coin dubbed JCoin will be used to pay for goods and transfer money. Moreover, this digital coin will be convertible into yen on a one-to-one basis. With the help of JCoin, Japan is also looking to eliminate the threat posed by the Chinese tech company Alibaba, which has launched its mobile-payments service in Japan.
Estonia, one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world, is also not left behind in adopting this revolutionary technology. The country has introduced its own digital cryptocurrency, Estcoin. The country has not only launched its national crypto but also adopted blockchain technology as part of its e-Residency programme. Kaspar Korjus, the managing director at e-Residency, said, “No other country has come close to developing both the technology and the legal frameworks that would enable them to introduce and securely manage tradable crypto assets globally.” Moreover, the country also encouraged its citizens to give suggestions regarding how they want a digital currency to work in Estonia.
Another country looking forward to launching its own crypto is Sweden. Reportedly, the central bank of Sweden, Riksbank, is actively engaged in developing national digital cryptocurrency of Sweden which will be known as eKrona. Cecilia Skingsley, the deputy governor at Riksbank, believes that this technology is as revolutionary as the existing traditional paper notes were around 300 years ago.