Which countries run national digital currencies?

… and why they have nothing to do with crypto

digital currency

Which countries run national digital currencies? Source: unsplash.com

The hype around cryptocurrencies gave many governments a boost to consider creating a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

CBDCs are often wrongly referred to as cryptocurrencies, but there is a huge gap between these concepts. National digital currencies are centralized as a government controls them. They are also non-anonymous, unmineable, and backed by fiat currencies or commodities. Therefore, CBDCs have nothing to do with crypto. However, if countries succeed in the implementation of such currencies, they can serve as an alternative safe, robust and convenient payment instrument.

So here’s a list of countries that have already launched or are about to create their own centralized digital currencies.

Ecuador

Ecuador has been plagued by a major financial crisis for years, which led the country to adopt the U.S. dollar as a currency in early 2000. In order to revamp its monetary system, in 2014 Ecuador’s Congress decided to implement and to start using a digital currency along with the dollar. The plan was to establish the world’s first state-run electronic payment system (Sistema de Dinero Electrónico) with digital currency as a means of payment. Officials claimed that electronic money would both benefit the poor and cut costs of exchanging worn notes for new ones. However, many consider the e-money introduction to be a governmental attempt to de-dollarize the nation. It is worth mentioning that other cryptocurrencies are banned in the country.

Ecuador. Source: flickr.com

Venezuela

Venezuela presented the concept of its own digital currency last December, amid the unprecedented economic crisis. The El Petro takes its name from the Spanish word petroleo, as the currency is oil-backed. The emission of 100 mln Petros started at the beginning of January. Since then, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has begun to take steps to expand the adoption of Petro. The government even created a special discount index, making it 10% cheaper to pay taxes using Petro rather than Bolivars. Maduro believes the Petro will help the country to overcome its crippling inflation and to grapple with the financial blockade. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely it will have a positive impact on Venezuela’s critical economic situation, and the Petro is facing criticism from foreign politicians.

Venezuela. Source: pixabay.com

Japan

The group of Japanese banks headed by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank is promoting the idea of launching their new digital currency. The token called J-Coin is expected to go live before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The project is backed by the Bank of Japan and national financial regulators. The main purpose of J-Coin is to reduce the usage of cash, as it still represents 70% of all transactions by value in Japan today. With J-Coin, banks and government seek to head off this cash dependency as it is expensive. The new currency is expected to be convertible into yen at a one-to-one ratio. J-Coin is planned to be used via any smartphone as it can be spent via a simple QR Code scan.

Japan. Source: unsplash.com

Sweden

Sweden’s central bank is deploying all necessary intellectual and technical resources for the study of the perspectives and opportunities of Blockchain technology. Moreover, Riksbank is also examining the possibility of creating a national digital currency eKrona, named after the traditional currency of the Nordic countries. Central bank officials have said that the inquiry started in March 2017 and is expected to be finalized in late 2019. If e-krona is issued, it will be used in tandem with cash. However, the use of cash in Sweden has been declining steadily over a long period of time. With the introduction of e-money, Sweden has every chance of building a completely cashless society.

Sweden. Source: unsplash.com

Estonia

Being at the forefront of technological innovation in business, Estonia is planning to launch its own Blockchain-based digital currency Estcoin. According to a government spokesperson, Estonia could possibly use Estcoins as crypto tokens within its E-Residency program, which allows foreigners to get a government-issued smart ID card. Tokens could be launched through an ICO. The Estonian government is also considering the implementation of regulation for ICOs and believes in the efficiency of Blockchain technology.

Estonia. Source: pixabay.com

There’s more…

Check out the list of other countries that are thinking about issuing a national digital currency.

COUNTRY

COIN

COUNTRY

COIN

Cambodia

Entapay

Netherlands

eGulden

Canada

Maplecoin

Poland

Digital PLN (dPLN)

China

N I

Portugal

CryptoEscudo

Germany

eMark

Russia

CryptoRuble

Greece

Greececoin

Singapore

N I

Iceland

Auroracoin

Spain

Pesetacoin

Iran

N I

UK

N I

Israel

Isracoin

Ukraine

CryptoHryvnia

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