(Updated with editor’s note at end of post)
We’ve become familiar with the various “national” cryptocurrencies that have come (and gone) over the past couple of months. Auroracoin, Spaincoin, Aphrodite, Greececoin, and most recently, Isracoin.
We’ve also come across some quasi “legal” coins actually backed by some governing authority such as Hullcoin and perhaps Mazacoin. There was also Mintchip which would grant p2p functionality to the Canadian dollar.
Recently, Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), seemed pretty serious when suggested that an independent Scotland adopt Bitcoin as a national currency.
“Scotland will be the first nation in the world to adopt bitcoin as its main currency, a move that will almost certainly see investors flock to our shores…So to those sceptics who said I had no Plan B when it comes to Scotland’s currency, I say ‘Ha!’…I have weighed up my options and decided that no-one can tell me I can’t have bitcoin, so it’s definitely the best currency there is.”
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Scotland has been part of the U.K. since the Union of England Act was passed in 1707. For several periods since then, there have been various pushes for independence and a referendum will be held on September 18.
One of the major points of controversy has been what the national currency shall be should they become independent. As with any country seeking independence, it is a challenge to transition to a new currency. Authorities must work out logistics of phasing out the old currency, deciding on an exchange rate structure for the new one and establish monetary policies (Airdrops don’t work for everyone).
It has been proposed that the country hold on to the Great British Pound, either in collaboration with the rest of the U.K. or without it. The euro has also been proposed. Salmond has been steadfastly opposed to continuing with sterling, saying, “if Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the pound” and “Sterling is definitely overrated anyway, and I didn’t really want it in the first place and anyone who says I did is lying.”
So what happens to Bitcoin if it becomes Scottish? Moreover, what happens to Scotland if something happens to Bitcoin? And are Bitcoiners prepared to step up and manage entire economies? Bitcoiners and Salmond should ponder these key issues in case they have to one day confront them.
Editor’s Note: After review, it was pointed out to DC Magnates that comments by Salmond were in fact made in satire. We apologize for any misrepresentation of the potential reality of Scotland migrating towards a bitcoin or any other digital based currency. However, regardless of Salmond’s real intent, we believe the mention of bitcoins is meaningful and represents the overall direction of the coming adoption of a new form of money. Whether this will be based on bitcoins, country backed digital currencies, Facebook and Google mobile wallets, or something else, is anyone’s guess at this point though (Ron Finberg)