BTCGreece and Cubits have recently partnered to offer Greek small and medium business a way out of difficult financial situation they are stuck in. They turned to bitcoin in order to help people transfer money abroad. The thing is that crisis-proof measures taken in Greece limit withdrawal from bank accounts and debit cards to 60 euros ($66) per day.
BTCGreece and Cubits are not novices in bitcoin business. BTCGreece is Greek first bitcoin exchange while Cubits is European bitcoin platform offering an easy-to-use interface which allows users to buy and sell bitcoin instantly with 17 supported currencies.
Thanos Marinos, BTCGreece founder, put his cards on the table while talking to CoinTelegraph: “We are creating the ecosystem of bitcoin and blockchain solutions in the Greek market. That will include the rollout of 1,000 ATMs and solutions for the e-commerce and tourism industry. Partnering with best of breed companies in the bitcoin space will enable us to provide the Greeks with solutions that will ease the difficulties of the capital controls.”
Bitcoin is seen as a way to evade capital controls in Greece. Limitation of withdrawal has created really tough conditions for businesses in the country. Both natural and legal persons are forbidden to move money abroad.
Marinos promised CNBC to launch the first ATMs by October 2015. The idea seems to be feasible as BTCGreece has already got 300 requests from shops for bitcoin ATMs. Let us remind that so far there have been no bitcoin ATMs in Greece although such countries as the USA, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain have already got some.
First reports about increased interest of Greeks in bitcoin appeared in June. However the specific nature of bitcoin doesn’t allow to see clear picture of how many Greeks use the cryptocurrency. The very idea of bitcoin lies in the decentralization of the process – no third party is needed in transactions which are processed peer-to-peer and get stored in public ledger called blockchain.
Akif Khan, chief commercial officer at Bitnet, admitted to CNBC that idea with ATMs in Greece does sound promising: “There has been a focus on bitcoin and Greece and the economic instability there. So in one sense it will be an interesting experiment to see if Greeks do gravitate towards bitcoin as one of the tools in their financial toolkit to try and cope.”
BTCGreece is not planning to stop at what has been accomplished and promise more efficient partnerships in the nearest future. “Bitcoin adoption is happening and in a very fast pace. Bitcoin in Greece is not just hype but a solution to day to day problems of people and businesses under capital controls. Also a key factor is that the trust for the traditional banking system is long gone and people are open to bitcoin.”