What's Happening with Bitcoin in the Czech Republic?

The Czech Republic Has Many Reasons and Uses for Embracing Bitcoin

Bitcoin Shines in Prague.

One of the things that put the Czech Republic on the virtual currency map was the blackmailing of the Republic in 2014 by “blackmailers” who claimed that they would release the Ebola virus throughout the country unless they were paid one million euros in bitcoin.

Fortunately, this crisis was averted and no bitcoins were disbursed or people injured.  One of the reasons that this occurred in the Czech Republic may have been because the profile of bitcoin was elevated in the country when in 2013, the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic took the progressive position of issuing legal guidance for buying and selling bitcoin.

While many other governments were avoiding the bitcoin discussion altogether or simply dismissing the impact of the virtual currency, the Czech Republic was willing to embrace the potential impact of bitcoin and issue guidance, albeit using terms like “high-risk” and “suspicious."

In 2015 the growth of bitcoin in the Czech Republic was recognized by the fact that the country had 112 merchants who accepted bitcoin with nearly half of them in the capital city of Prague. It also had 8 bitcoin ATMs in the country, which made them the 12th most popular country for bitcoin ATMs .  This may not sound like much, but I remember that year that there was only 1 bitcoin ATM in New York City, and that was situated in an English goods store (there are now 43 just in NYC alone). 

The very first mining pool called Slush, was actually begun in the Czech Republic in 2010, and it continues to operate today with nearly a million BTC mined since it began.

Late last year, the Czech Republic’s version of PayPal called GoPay announced that it was accepting bitcoin for its third-party payment system.  This was made possible by cooperation from Bitcoinpay and allowed bitcoin to be accepted by over 2,000 merchants in the country.

The ability to buy bitcoin in the Czech Republic is now so widespread that a Czech citizen’s options for buying bitcoin rival those for Americans and most Europeans.

 

Another reason for the growth of bitcoin in the Czech Republic is due to the country’s “long standing engineering history.”  As reported by Coindesk, this includes the influence of such personalities as the famous physicist Christian Doppler, renowned engineers such as FJ Gerstner and J Bozek, and the reality that the Czech education system has also produced a significant amount of video game developers, who have created many successful games.

The past history of totalitarianism in the country has impacted the trust in the government by many of its citizens and this lends itself well to appeal of the virtual currency.  This underlying feeling is seen by many who believe that less regulation by the government will provide more power and prosperity for businesses and citizens, which correlates with the decentralized and "nationless" perception of bitcoin and virtual currency.

Both existing companies and local entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic continue to explore the benefits of bitcoin and the blockchain technology.  This will be on display this year at the 2016 Bitcoin Conference in Prague, where many of the world’s leaders in virtual currencies will be providing information and insight into how the Czech Republic can further grow its existing and thriving base of bitcoin users and companies.