- Cryptocurrency adoption in the Balkan region is on a gradual rise.
- Major cryptocurrency related projects are mainstream in some countries.
- Swift cryptocurrency regulations are required in some countries to improve adoption.
Cryptocurrency adoption in the post COVID-19 scenario is now a rapidly growing trend but even before the trend became mainstream the Balkans were gradually moving onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon. The region is largely focused on cryptocurrency mining rather than mass adoption of the same, however, mass use is underway. Those unaware, Balkan region consist of 12 countries in the Eastern-Europe including Balgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia and others.
Case for cryptocurrency adoption in Balkans
The Balkan region is largely war torn, whether armed combat or civil unrest. Historically, the region was subjected to Russian rule and many a members were part of the Yugoslavia. It is apparent without having to dig deep into the geo-political and economic situation that the countries would leave no quarter when it comes to economic stability and progress. Cryptocurrency is set to convert into a trillion dollar industry, and the tantamount to that growth is the 6th largest currency of the world, Bitcoin. Bitcoin market cap stands somewhere between $290 to $350 billions at any given day, and there are over 1920 cryptocurrencies.
Arvin Kamberi, the president at the Bitcoin Association of Serbia explains that the cryptocurrency adoption rate is also likely to increase in the Balkan given the long years of struggle for freedom. The historical situation in the region makes the very nature of cryptocurrencies, i.e., anonymous and secure a catalyst for cryptocurrency adoption.
Among the two major examples, in August 2020 a social enterprise in Bulgaria brought Bitcoin to the masses through Colibra. The startup works to enforce the European guidelines that allows passengers facing a 3-hour or longer delay in their flights. Colibra has been working as a mediator between the passengers and the airlines, and in August the enterprise decided to add Bitcoin compensations.
Croatia isn’t far behind Bulgaria when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption, however, it may be on the same level others yet. On the one hand, authorities in a small Croatian town Sveta Nedelja have officially embraced cryptocurrencies allowing shops and vendors to receive cryptocurrency payments. While on the other hand, Telos and Katalyo are set to tokenize almost $35.4 million worth of realestate in the country.
Need for cryptocurrency adoption friendly laws
Speaking to the media, Arvin Kamberi, expresses that there is a boom in cryptocurrency, DeFi, blockchain projects in the region but swift moves to provide these startups and players with viable relevant regulations is the need of hour. He presents the case with the example of Slovenia, where the economy is boosting after adopting cryptocurrency friendly laws and regulations.
Kamberi furthers that Serbia is also getting on the crypto-friendly bandwagon allowing safe cryptocurrency trading in the country. While others in the region such as North Macedonia are far behind others in the region. Despite the presence of cryptocurrency mining farms and individual miners in the country, the need for regulations is imminent in these regions to allow swift and seamless economic uplift in the region.
Although FATF is coming tough on the cryptocurrency realm, it appears that the Balkan region is going to become one of the most crypto-friendly regions in the years to come, given that the countries work collectively to bring about positive and friendly cryptocurrency regulations.