Ever since the cryptocurrencies appeared, there has been a lot of skepticism around them since not many people not exactly how to use them.
However, many businesses and companies have taken advantage of their benefits and have started implementing them in their activities such as for receiving payments or for making purchases.
The most recent is Facebook, which announced plans to develop its cryptocurrency called Libra, and this has made several countries to see in this new technology a threat for their currency, so many of them have decided to incur in this crypto world so they can have more control over their finances.
Many people praise the cryptocurrencies as being a way of having independence from banks and government, but some countries don’t want to lose control over a decentralized currency, that’s why many countries have planned to have state-issued cryptocurrencies.
While some countries are planning to implement this technology, some of them have already started, and some are considering thinking in that direction. So everything seems to point out that we’ll soon have many cryptocurrencies that will be fighting to beat the dollar hegemony to become the world’s new favorite currency.
Countries already using their own cryptocurrency
Although many countries have planned to issue their currency, there are only two countries that are already using it which are the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. This is because they’re not expecting a consensus, but they’ve decided to give it a try and implement it.
Building a state-issued cryptocurrency doesn’t happen overnight, and while some countries implement it, it doesn’t mean that automatically is going to become the main currency used in their territory, they’re issuing it to power their government with the Blockchain technology.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The first country that launched its cryptocurrency was the UAE, and they called it Emcash. This is the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency and it was issued in 2017 to be used for a variety of services such as money transfers, utility charges, school fees, and others.
The wallet is named emPay, and it was launched by Emcredit. The UAE residents can make the payments directly from their smartphones, and the businesses receive the money in real-time, which is great for them.
The best part is that the intermediaries are eliminated, and at this pace, Dubai is on its way of becoming the first Blockchain-powered city since they’re leading the race and they’ve proved that it’s working well.
Venezuela also issued its cryptocurrency called Petro, which is backed by the oil reserves of the country. It was launched in December 2017 with the purpose to access international financing by its currency since the country is sanctioned by the US.
This cryptocurrency is used to pay several services, and Venezuelans can manage it by the Patria wallet. The government usually issues payment by this cryptocurrency to some of the beneficiaries of social programs and they use it to pay in the places where they receive this e-currency.
Also, some government-related payments can only be made in Petro, to start to implement this currency nationwide.
Countries planning to issue their own cryptocurrency
There are a few countries that have already announced that they’re planning to issue their cryptocurrency, but they’re still in the planning process.
Some countries like India, Singapore, Ecuador, Canada, and Israel have plans to issue their state-backed cryptocurrency, but they’re just in the planning phase, to they may take a while to be implemented.
China announced last year that they’re planning to issue their cryptocurrency since they feel that their economy is threatened by the new e-currencies that are being issued to the market.
Also, the Chinese government wants to implement the Blockchain technology to have more control over their people, and to “protect their monetary sovereignty”.
Although the cryptocurrencies are forbidden in China, they’re planning to issue a state-backed one based on their currency called the renminbi, so the purpose is to digitalize it and call it crypto-renminbi. They want to get ahead in case the cryptocurrencies start to generate a shift in global finances.
In 2018, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is planning to issue its cryptocurrency called CryptoRuble to compete with the other digital currencies that are arising in Europe.
Just like Venezuela, the CryptoRuble aims to evade US sanctions and to strengthen Russia’s economy. However, there has not been any progress on this matter, and although it was expected to be launched in mid-2019, it didn’t happen and the Russian Central Bank hasn’t shown much interest in speeding up the issuing.
Estonia has been the pioneer in becoming a “true digital society” as stated by their president and demonstrated by their policies, and this means that they’re planning to issue their cryptocurrency as well.
In August 2017 it was announced the launching of a state-backed cryptocurrency called Estcoin that will be managed on Ethereum, which is a smart decision from the government.
Estonia might become very soon the third country in the world to issue its cryptocurrency, and the purpose is to offer financing incentives to e-residents and to boost the country’s economy.
Japan has welcomed the several cryptocurrencies since they haven’t imposed any restrictions on them, so now it’s considering to issue its government-backed cryptocurrency, and this was announced in 2017.
Japan’s cryptocurrency will be called J-Coin and the expected launch date is before the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The residents will be able to pay for goods and services with this digital currency. We’ll have to wait to see if Japan joins the countries that are using their cryptocurrency.
Sweden is another European country that is planning to issue their state-backed cryptocurrency, called E-Kroan, with the purpose to eliminate cash and do all transactions digitally.
This country is very close to the launch date, and the way they’re going to achieve this is by launching a digital equivalent to cash through IOTA Blockchain, by the support of Sweden’s Central Bank.