Certain Swedes rebel against a cashless society

12. May 2018.

In Sweden, there’s a name for it: Kontantupproret. That translates to “Cash Rebellion,” the name chosen by a group of Swedes who are speaking out against the country’s determined move toward cashlessness.

According to a report by The Guardian, the group — whose members have been disparaged as “the elderly and the technologically backward” — is gaining the ear of the people and the central bank.

Björn Eriksson, a former national police commissioner and the 72-year-old leader of Kontantupproret, has been preaching the dangers of a push by Sweden’s four largest banks to eliminate cash.

Eriksson told The Guardian that an enemy (he specifically named Putin) could easily seize control of a digital-only payments system, essentially shutting down the Swedish economy.

Mattias Skarec, a 29-year-old digital security consultant (neither elderly nor technologically backward) shares this concern.

“We are naive to think we can abandon cash completely and rely on technology instead,” he told The Guardian, pointing to a glitch last year that disrupted the country’s payment system.

A recent survey showed that citizens who oppose a completely cashless system outnumber those who advocate it by a ratio of 3 to 1.

And in a recent statement, Riksbank governor Stefan Ingves called for the Swedish government to pass legislation to ensure public control over the payments system, rather than leaving it to the retail banking sector.

“It should be obvious that Sweden’s preparedness would be weakened if, in a serious crisis or war, we had not decided in advance how households and companies would pay for fuel, supplies and other necessities,” he said.

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