Bitcoin has seen a lot of development over the past few years. People are getting into the currency, companies that focus on Bitcoin related services have emerged, a whole new world of virtual money is slowly starting to take shape. The only part of the world that does not seem to be eager to join this movement is politics. Some take a stance for Bitcoin; most are just trying to tell people why they should dislike it. Time to gather up and take a stand towards all these nay-sayers. Sweden gives a great example with the world’s first ‘Bitcoinparty‘.
Bitcoinparty was founded by Christian Ander, a 35-year-old Stockholm resident with a degree in quantum physics. He has been a Bitcoin entrepreneur since 2012, founding Europe’s first over-the-counter exchange, BTCX.se. He describes his role in the Bitcoin community as “Pushing Bitcoin acceptance and making it mainstream in Sweden and the Nordic countries”. The founding of the Bitcoinparty seems to be one of his best moves in getting Bitcoin connected to the common people. More than enough reasons for CCN to have a talk with Christian Ander about his Bitcoinparty.
Interview with the Bitcoinparty
So, first of all, congratulations with starting a Bitcoinparty. What brought you to the decision of going into politics with Bitcoin?
Thank you. It arose from a friendly chat; a friend told me she had this dream where I was starting a bitcoin party, and then we decided, why not? It all made sense from a political point of view. Integrating Bitcoin into politics from “above” instead of the normal way through enterprises.
It does indeed, do you think it will be possible to do so in Sweden? I can imagine a lot of politicians aren’t keen on working together with ‘Bitcoiners.’
That problem is already apparent. We have a “liquid democracy party” here in Sweden (Direktdemokraterna). They started twelve years ago and ever since they have been getting a lot of negative feedback and resistance from the other parties. Bitcoinparty will probably face the same resistance. We’re introducing real democracy. This means giving back control to the people. The older parties don’t like this, and we are not welcome. At least now there are two political parties who are striving for the same goals. We can help each other.
Giving back control is never a popular stance, I still need to find a country that wants to do that. So you are actively working together with the liquid democracy party?
Yes. We are telling all our voters to vote for Directdemokraterna and then “redirect” their votes to Bitcoinparty using liquid democracy. In that way they are free to change their vote at any given time, a little bit like mining.
Wait, I’m not getting that, people can vote for Directdemokraterna and then change that vote at any given time?
Indeed. Directdemokraterna has its own voting system. The people vote in that system and, according to the outcome of these votes, Directdemokraterna will vote accordingly in Sveriges Riksdag. Sveriges Riksdag is the national legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden.
I understand. So is Direktdemokraterna getting a lot of votes in Sweden?
No, not really… I hope bitcoinparty can help them to get more people behind their cause.
Well even if the votes aren’t that many, it still will make Bitcoin known. I think it’s things like these that, little by little, will make people aware that there is an alternative to the current financial system
Yes. Indeed, Sweden is a country full of tech savvy people. A lot of youngsters are pro-bitcoin both from a freedom and a technical innovation perspective.
So I read the party’s manifesto, it said that banks are acting as regulators in Sweden, often freezing bank accounts for Bitcoin companies without any valid reason. Is that really happening? Because that sounds like some hidden nazi-like witchhunt for whoever is denying the official Swedish currency… I didn’t know the hate towards Bitcoin was that big in Sweden :)
Yes, unfortunately, this is true. They all react from fear. This is not just a problem for Bitcoin related matters. The banks have the power to do so just for suspecting. This means any one of us can be treated as a criminal without any proof. There is a system build into the banking system with the sole purpose of red flagging transactions and accounts. These accounts get frozen automatically without informing customers of it. These actions are supported and even “suggested” by law, making banks a financial force similar to the police. The difference is that if a police officer takes your belongings or stops you, he needs to file a report. This gives you a chance to defend yourself as you are protected by law. In Sweden’s financial world, there is nothing to protect your privacy or freedom.
That is outrageous. I understand why you are making this a big point in your party’s agenda.
It is our top priority right now. We want to see new laws that protect people’s financial freedom and rights. We are not trying to get a “bitlicense”, we want pure freedom of finance!
That’s what I read, and that’s why I wanted to do an interview and story about your party. It was about time someone made a real political priority out of that thought. So do you have any plans for the future with the party? Maybe something Pirate Party like? They’re active throughout most of Europe now.
Yes. We have close contacts with the swedish Pirate Party and its founder, Rick. We have something cooking for the world… More info on that will be getting out when we’re ready for it.
Well that sounds very interesting… I’m looking forward to seeing Bitcoinparty go international. But until that day, I wish you the best of luck in Sweden. I hope you can give the people the freedom they deserve.
Thank you, I hope we can achieve that. We’ll work day and night if needed.
Thank you to Christian Ander and Bitcoinparty in Sweden for the interview.
Images from Shutterstock.