Sweden is often ranked as one of Europe’s most digitized and innovative countries. When it comes to investing in digital currencies, however, we have fallen behind, several surveys show. But Olga Feldmeier, founder of Nasdaq-listed Smart Valor, believes that will change.
– For many in the crypto industry, Sweden is an enigma. On the one hand, you are seen as a digital role model, but on the other hand, there are relatively few Swedes who use cryptocurrencies, says Olga Feldmeier, who is the founder and working chairman of the board for the Nasdaq First North-listed crypto platform Smart Valor.
She highlights that even during the previous boom, in 2021, when bitcoin rose sharply, crypto was less popular in the Nordics than in other countries. She sees an explanation in the type of stories that take hold around the new technology.
– It is ultimately driven by regulators and central banks, but is also reflected in the media. In Sweden, the Riksbank has been skeptical of cryptocurrencies. It doesn’t see the potential, and it has shaped the way the public thinks.
She compares it to the situation in Switzerland. There, Smart Valor has received a grant from a state innovation agency, while Olga Feldmeier has been involved in advising the country’s government on regulatory issues surrounding cryptocurrencies. She has also been named one of the “Top 10 Blockchainers” in Switzerland by the prestigious business magazine Bilanz.
– Switzerland has wanted to position itself as a leading force in cryptocurrencies. That’s smart, because there’s fierce competition for talent on a global level. Hong Kong and Singapore are also successful in the battle to become a global crypto hub. Web 3.0 is essential technology on the way to the Open Metaverse and that is why many countries want to be first.
Strong forces in motion
At the same time, strong forces are in motion that can change the situation in Sweden. In October, EU member states almost unanimously hammered through an agreement on the regulation of crypto assets, the so-called MiCA proposal. The purpose is, among other things, to enable innovation and increase the attractiveness of the crypto sector within the Union by harmonizing the rules in the 27 member states.
– The EU has made progress. My hope is that when MiCA comes into effect, the Swedish attitude to crypto will also change for the better, she says.
In the meantime, Smart Valor is working to get more people to open their eyes to crypto.
– Our contribution is to make investments as simple as possible and lower the threshold. Instead of showcasing the thousands of different digital assets available, we offer a more limited but well-curated offering structured around clear investment themes, such as blockchain protocols, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and the Metaverse.
Trust and credibility
In crypto, trust and credibility are central. These are areas that Smart Valor has put a lot of effort into, according to Olga Feldmeier.
– We meet all regulatory requirements and take safety very seriously. We have never been hacked and our users’ data has never been exposed.
Through the stock market listing, they have gone one step further, she states. It further improves corporate governance, provides clear rules for insider trading, and provides additional transparency in the company through, among other things, regularly published and audited financial statements.
– We could have raised money on the unlisted market without problems, but we wanted to become a listed company to increase transparency and trust. We have decided that there is no middle ground. We must be at the absolute top when it comes to trust, just as we already do for regulatory compliance and transparency.
Another goal is to help customers learn as much as possible about crypto.
– The unique thing about us is that we have a platform that suits both beginners and more advanced users. As you learn more, you can use all functions. For those who want, there is a lot of educational material, newsletters, deep dives and webinars to take part in, says Olga Feldmeier.
The article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with Smart Valor and not an article by Dagens industri