Norway’s finance minister appeared to explain his opinion about Bitcoin. Suggesting that cryptocurrencies will eventually move past the volatility for which they are currently known and enter a period of “breakthroughs.”
Sanner’s more optimistic outlook puts him at odds with Ystein Olsen
“It’s clear that there may be a development over time, whereby you will be able to get more stabilization mechanisms in the currencies that can lead to greater breakthroughs and upheavals in the slightly longer term,” said Jan Tore Sanner. Despite this assessment, he still believes that cryptocurrencies “are not a market I would recommend consumers to enter.”
Warning aside, Sanner’s more optimistic outlook puts him at odds with Norway’s central bank governor Ystein Olsen. Previously, Olsen had stated that bitcoin was too expensive due to its energy-intensive requirements and did not possess the stability that a currency should have. Sanner’s more nuanced view, on the other hand, is more representative of the more nuanced spectrum of voices in the Nordic country.
While Oystein Olsen, the governor of Norway’s central bank, is one of Bitcoin’s critics. There is on the other hand also the billionaire owner of one of the country’s largest corporate empires that claims to be a Bitcoin enthusiast. Kjell Inge Rokke, majority shareholder of Aker ASA, says Bitcoin will end up “on the right side of history,” and Aker’s CEO recently hinted that the company might even consider accepting payments in Bitcoin.
While the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies raises concerns, monetary authorities around the world are working to create their own digital currencies. Norway is no exception and recently announced the next step towards a technical solution for its central bank digital currency (CBDC). This comes after four years of preliminary research, although there are no definitive plans to issue a CBDC yet.
As another official from Norges Bank explained last year, this is because Norway is already a largely cashless society. If the country finally decides it’s worth it, it would probably take a few more years. As the deputy governor of Norges Bank Ida Wolden Bache said, “the lack of urgency reflects our previous view that there is no acute need for the introduction of a CBDC.”