Digital Transformation

Could the creation of a paperless currency rescue the Greek economy?

Greece is under increasing pressure from the European Commission over its massive debts – and is at risk of defaulting.

However, according to Shoreham-based Lee Gibson Grant – a founder of cryptocurrency consultancy Coinstructors – electronic currency could hold the answer to Greece’s financial woes – and even the future of the EU!

In his white paper on the ‘E-Drachmae’, Grant suggests that an alternative paperless currency, running parallel to the Euro, could provide a viable, cheap fix to Greece’s debt stalemate.

He believes that a hybrid of digital currency, combined with an asset-backed security, could allow Greece to retain ownership of its assets. The currency could be used to pay government salaries and workers could spend the currency at local businesses – thus creating an investable asset that could be a proxy for a recovery of the Greek economy.

Mr Gibson Grant said: “Although widely viewed as one of the poorer members of the EU, Greece per capita is ranked seventh in terms of infrastructure wealth, while Germany ranks 17th. Instead of selling its airports, transport systems and strategically placed islands to service its debts, the Greek government could monetise its infrastructure assets and create a new digital currency (drachmae) that would have a stable value,” adding, “Drachmae could then be used to pay government workers and pensioners through the digital ledger Blockchain.”

Gibson Grant also said: “Greece currently faces some very stark decisions regarding its economic future. Years of profligacy and corruption have created an unsustainable position that cannot be allowed to continue. Greece could put to use its considerable heritage and place itself at the forefront of the cryptocurrency revolution.

“To convert the people of a country to the benefits of digital money will take a considerable leap of faith. However the economic suffering inflicted on Greece has created a desperate situation with insurmountable economic burdens.”

Perhaps Gibson Grant has a point – according to Eurostat, Greece currently has 86 billion Euros of financial assets on its balance sheet. As a percentage of GDP, this makes Greece the seventh wealthiest nation in the EU.

It’s certainly a very interesting concept – and could perhaps open up a debate on the prospect of trialling paperless currency schemes elsewhere across the Globe?