Hear the words mining and Sweden and you’d be forgiven for immediately thinking of the country’s famous iron ore mines. But these days Sweden is turning heads by breaking ground with an entirely new kind of mining.
Bitcoin: some call the world’s best-known cryptocurrency a fad, others call it the future. Whichever it turns out to be, there’s no denying it presents a fascinating alternative to traditional currency.
Sweden has enthusiastically embraced bitcoin and is marching at the forefront of the cryptocurrency revolution.
“Sweden is among the leaders in the global bitcoin market,” confirms Claire Ingram Bogusz, a researcher at Stockholm School of Economics specialising in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“There’s a very high-level of knowledge about it here, and a high-level of digital competence in the Fintech space,” she says, referring to Stockholm’s status as the second largest FinTech hub in Europe.
“We may not be the size of Hong Kong or London, but it’s hard to find that level of digital competence in other financial centres.”
Bitcoin (BTC) was first introduced in 2009 and is created as part of a process known as mining. The peer-to-peer network relies on a technology called the “blockchain”, a jointly-managed public ledger, to record and verify transactions.