Digital currency advocate Mathias Sundin has become a member of Sweden's parliament after funding his election campaign solely in bitcoin.
Now, and for the next four years, Sundin will represent the constituents of Östergötland in the parliament, which has 349 members from across the country.
On more wide reaching topics, Sundin promised to back educational reform, defend privacy rights and work toward developing a tax system that promotes innovative, fast-growing companies.
Economies have to keep up with technological advances including bitcoin, he argued, telling CoinDesk:
New view forming
Sundin told CoinDesk that he will keep promoting bitcoin in the future, although he is unsure how much backing he will get from fellow MPs.
While his focus on bitcoin issues helped get him noticed, Sundin said he doubts that it was his bitcoin advocacy that won him the seat. Rather, it was likely to be linked to his more general policies, he said.
Although his local campaign didn't cost much to set up, the bitcoin donations Sundin received came from all over the world, "Which I find very positive,” he said.
Sweden’s position on bitcoin
Sundin still believes that more work is necessary to explain the potential of bitcoin. In particular, to persuade banks and other financial organisations that working with bitcoin companies is ultimately a positive thing.
Sweden has already managed to attract a number of prominent cryptocurrency businesses, ranging from exchanges to mining companies.
The country’s regulatory framework is relatively liberal and many suggest it will regulate bitcoin as an asset, in line with most of the EU.
However, for all its popularity in Sweden, bitcoin has not had much of an impact on the local economy.
In a recently published research paper, the Swedish Central Bank found that bitcoin trading volumes in the country were relatively low and concluded that bitcoin did not have “any measurable impact” on the country's retail payment market or financial stability.
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