Mathias Sundin has come a long way since campaigning as the first Swedish politician to exclusively accept bitcoin donations.
After being elected in 2014, Sundin has helped turn the nation’s banks into some of the most progressive in the world when it comes to working with bitcoin startups. And now he’s joined Sweden’s largest bitcoin exchange, BTCX, as chairman of the board.
But Sundin’s involvement with the firm is about more than bringing attention to one of the oldest bitcoin exchanges in Europe.
An entrepreneur in his own right, having co-founded Sweden’s Warp Institute, which aimed to help accelerate technological innovation, Sundin intends to take a hands-on role at the bitcoin exchange.
He told CoinDesk:
“EVEN IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT BITCOIN AT ALL, IT’S A VERY EXCITING STARTUP. SO, WE’RE GOING TO RAISE MONEY NOW AND PROBABLY ALSO EXPAND INTO OTHER MARKETS IN A FEW COUNTRIES, IN EUROPE FIRST.”
BTCX is growing at a rate of about 1,200 customers per month, with transaction volume over the same time at around 2 million euros. At the core of the firm’s expansion plans lies what Sundin characterized as a willingness by the company to work with established banks, not just disrupt them.
Appeasing the banks
Sundin first met the BTCX team during his 2014 election campaign, when he raised about two bitcoins in donations from 50 donors around the world.
Already a member of the Swedish Parliament with the Liberal party, …