Electronic money is not virtual currency

The concept “electronic money” should not be confused with virtual currency. Electronic money is an electronically stored money value that represents a claim on the issuer, has a value that equals no more than the amount for which it was purchased, and which is accepted by parties other than the issuer.

12 By the latter, it is meant that the e-money must be accepted by a sufficiently broad circle of companies. Bitcoins are thus not electronic money, one reason being because they do not represent a claim on the issuer. In general, a virtual currency can fulfill a couple of the above criteria, but not all. For example, most virtual currencies do not fulfill the requirement of a sufficiently broad circle of recipients.

 Neither is it always possible to exchange the virtual currency for national currency. Virtual currencies are also specified in other units of account than national ones. This is an important difference to electronic money. Redemption need not take place on a one-to-one basis because the units of value differ. In a potential redemption or exchange for national currency, the value cannot usually be predicted because the exchange rate fluctuates. Control of the regulations governing the virtual currency rests with the issuer. There is no supervision of the currency and the issuer is usually a non-financial company. Payments via virtual currency schemes are hence not covered by the Electronic Money Act (2011:755) or the Payment Services Act (2010:751). In addition, the issuer is not usually located in Sweden.
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