A cryptocurrency is a digital currency which is created and managed by using advanced encryption techniques, also known as cryptography. From a mere concept to one of the biggest forces of the financial world, the cryptocurrency market along with the blockchain technology that goes with it has entirely transformed the perceptions we have for money, conventional banks and purchasing products and services.
With the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, cryptocurrencies have become a global phenomenon known by most people. Today, top crypto coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and more keep scoring one great year after another, after reaching a market capitalisation of $800 Billion in 2018.
The question in everyone’s minds is whether these alternative currencies will one day supplant conventional currencies or it’s just a short-lived thing that will die in a few years? That question remains to be answered.
One thing is for sure, cryptocurrency enthusiasts and supporters keep growing in number. With the rising popularity of cryptocurrency, mainly due to the decentralised nature of blockchain technology, along with the fact that millions of people from all over the world have a digital wallet with one or many different cryptocurrencies, the demand for paying with cryptocurrency for products or services has grown.
If you love travelling and are also cryptocurrency enthusiasts, who prefers using digital coins instead of cash, there are plenty of cities around the world that accept cryptocurrency payments. For your convenience, we at Trading Education came up with a list of crypto-friendly cities where you can spend your coins with no worries. It’s cryptocurrency vacation time!
What are some of the most crypto-friendly cities around the world?
In addition to being home to many wonderful activities and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, the capital of the Netherlands is quite famous for how open it is to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, in particular. Amsterdam is home to leading Bitcoin startups, including BitPlay and BitFury. Not just that but there are a robust 74 merchants accepting Bitcoin and one Bitcoin ATM for every 800,000 people. You can also do fun activities, such as visiting the Bitcoin Embassy! The Bitcoin Embassy in Amsterdam is where the crypto community actively promotes Bitcoin through various efforts. Also, back in 2015, Amsterdam opened its famous Bitcoin Boulevard, which is a street where most merchants accept Bitcoin as payment for their services and products.
Europeans are already referring to Amsterdam as a home for a “thriving crypto startup scene”.
Canada is known for being one of the most welcoming countries for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The regulations for cryptos and ICOs are pretty light, as compared to other countries, and the overall attitude of the government is quite supportive.
Throughout the past 10 years, Toronto has become one of the world’s most crypto-friendly cities in the world, hosting a number of quite successful crypto enterprises. For instance, a well-established cryptocurrency wallet, named Decentral, which also created Jaxx, is an example of a Canadian crypto enterprise that became huge all over the world.
In addition, there are over 200 crypto ATMs, spread across Toronto. On a worldwide level, this is one of the biggest numbers of ATMs that can be found in a city.
Prague, Czech Republic
In addition to being known as having some outstanding beer, Prague is also one of the biggest venues in Europe (and in the world) accepting cryptocurrencies. If you are travelling to Prague, you can easily rent an apartment and pay it with cryptocurrency, pay for your food in many restaurants and purchase many products and services.
Prague has also hosted one of the largest cryptocurrency and blockchain-related conferences in Europe.
Moreover, there’s a famous espresso bar, called Bitcoin coffee, where the only accepted mode of payment is Bitcoin. The second apartment in the world that was purchased using cryptocurrency is located in Prague. It was bought in 2017 for 35 Bitcoins.
To sum it up, Prague is one of the crypto revolution leaders in Europe, in addition to being one of the oldest and most vibrant cities on the continent.
When you think of Switzerland, you probably imagine chocolate, beautiful mountains, yodelling and lots of money. Because of its reputation for having lots and lots of money, Switzerland has become one of the earliest adopters of cryptocurrencies. Many blockchain companies have opened their headquarters there, putting them on the map for a well-established, regulated cryptocurrency local market and of course, the surrounding natural beauty.
If you go to Zug, you can visit the House of Wines and pay for exquisite bottles with cryptocurrency. You can even find a dentist that accepts cryptocurrency. Though Zug is a small city and less known as some of the other cities on the list, it is regarded as one of the most technologically advanced cities on a global scale. Zug has also earned the nickname of “Crypto Valley”.
A few years ago, Zug even became the first city to accept Bitcoin for paying taxes. It’s basically heaven on Earth for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
Though the capital of Slovenia is one of the smallest cities in Europe, it never ceases to impress the world when it comes to tech innovation and blockchain technology adoption.
Ljubljana is home to the world’s first Bitcoin-friendly mall, Bitcoin City. As you might suspect, all merchants that have opened shops (which are over 500, by the way) in the mall accept Bitcoin as payment and make use of blockchain technology. It’s not just a mall, though. It also serves as a large business and recreational centre.
In addition, Bitstamp, one of the most popular crypto exchanges, has established its headquarters in Ljubljana.
All this has opened the whole market of Slovenia to cryptocurrency and definitely pushed it into general use.
The city is also praised for its beauty so if you might want to explore it while having your crypto-bought cup of coffee.
San Francisco, California
It’s no surprise to see San Francisco on our list as this is the ultimate tech Mecca in California. The city has almost 200 merchants accepting Bitcoin and approximately 60 ATMs that process cryptocurrency conversions. That doesn’t sound bad at all, given the relatively small population of 837,000 people.
Further to that, San Francisco is home to Coinbase - one of the most famous cryptocurrency exchange platforms, as well as the creator company behind one of the most secure and popular cryptocurrency wallets.
Many other cryptocurrency and blockchain companies choose San Francisco for their headquarters due to its fast-paced blockchain market and blockchain-obsessed locals.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The capital and largest city in Argentina, Buenos Aires, is also the leading Bitcoin city in South America. Buenos Aires has over 130 merchants that accept Bitcoin and a growing number of Bitcoin ATMs in the city, with a population of 2.9 million people.
In a country which became famous for the ongoing currency crisis, Bitcoin has surely found a warm spot to settle in. The country still hasn’t recovered from the deep recession from a couple of years ago. Last year, inflation in Argentina stood at over 25%.
The decline of the Argentinian peso and the strict capital control installed by the government made many Argentinians turn to cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin.
The first Bitcoin conference in Latin America was also held in Buenos Aires last year. Many startups like Ripio, Buda and SatoshiTango have also emerged within the city.
Florida’s largest city, Jacksonville, has made some outstanding moves in the past years with regards to crypto adoption and integration. With a population of around 800,000 people, Jacksonville has 20 cryptocurrency ATMs, scattered all over the city.
In addition, another cryptocurrency-related topic Jacksonville stands out for is crypto investing. In terms of cryptocurrency holdings per person, no other city can match with Jacksonville’s rankings. The average cryptocurrency holding per Jacksonville resident stands at more than $31,000. The city that ranks right after Jacksonville is Memphis, Tennessee with $15,700 per person.
The capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius, is not just another great place to spend your holidays in. It’s an absolute digital frontrunner and a major hub for fintech.
The capital is known for being very forward-looking and hosting global players such as Uber and Google, as well as locally-developed startups conquering the world, such as Trafi and Vinted.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the British self-proclaimed bank killer Revolut acquired is first banking license in Vilnius.
There are plenty of historic sights to be seen in the capital of Lithuania but with the great advancements in the financial technology sector, you can also find amazing places, cafes, food stores, restaurants, fitness centres and more where you can pay with Bitcoin.
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is undoubtedly one of the hottest spots for business and finance in the world.
In 2017, China effectively banned cryptocurrencies and ICOs. In 2018, the relationship between China and cryptocurrency got even more complicated after China banned and blocked over 120 crypto exchanges.
By doing so, many cryptocurrency enterprises, exchanges and ICOs went to nearby regions in search of a more friendly environment to conduct their business in. One area is Hong Kong, which though is part of China has its own jurisdiction.
For instance, The Blockchain Global Summit was moved to Hong Kong from Beijing in 2018. One of the largest exchanges in the world, Binance, also opened offices in Hong Kong last year.
Cryptocurrency is a legal form of payment in Hong Kong. Many retailers in the city accept cryptocurrencies. An offline cryptocurrency sales network is expected to be built to further expand the use of cryptocurrency in the retail space.
The final verdict is that there are plenty of cities around the world that have started adopting cryptocurrency and integrating them into the local everyday life. The adoption show in the form of merchants who accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as in a favourable environment for cryptocurrency companies, ICOs and other blockchain ventures.
We expect that the mass acceptance of cryptocurrencies will only continue to go up as their usage across the globe only keeps increasing.
Each country has its own unique rules and laws that can’t but affect in some way the usage of these currencies and in some countries, even completely block them. However, many places around the world have recognised the potential and adopted new technologies early, making them crypto-friendly.
If you are a cryptocurrency enthusiast or a professional and are looking for a new place of residence or a vacation spot where you can spend your cryptocurrency, this article is a great place to begin your search with.
Choose your destination, get your digital wallet ready and enjoy your holiday!
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